Can you name which currency pairs have nicknames Barnie and Betty? Yes, those from the Flinstones If you can, well done! If not, don’t worry, the world of forex and finance is filled with the imaginative, amusing and odd!
There is no question
Nicknames for the most popular currencies and their pairs
- USD (U.S. Dollar) – Greenback or Buck
- GBP (British Pound) – Sterling
- EUR (Euro) – Fiber
- CHF (Swiss Franc) – Swissy
- CAD (Canadian Dollar) – Loonie
- AUD (Australian Dollar) – Aussie
- NZD (New Zealand Dollar)- Kiwi
- EUR/GBP (Euro/ British Pound) – Chunnel
- EUR/JPY (Euro/ Japanese Yen) – Euppy
- EUR/USD (Euro/ U.S Dollar) – Fiber
- GBP/USD (British Pound/ U.S Dollar) – Cable
- GBP/JPY (British Pound) – Gopher
- USD/JPY (U.S Dollar/ Japanese Yen) – Ninja
- USD/RUB ( U.S Dollar/ Russian Ruble) – Barney
- EUR/RUB ( Euro / Russian Ruble) – Betty
- EUR/BTC ( EURO/Bitcoin ) – Nakamoto
A Rally for the Buck?
With a new president coming to the White House, the U.S. Dollar has been rallying recently. A U.S. Dollar is also called a buck from the time when hunters used to use the skin of the male deer for trading. A male deer is called a buck, and the name stuck when paper money became common. So if you hear on Bloomberg that “the buck is rallying” that means the U.S. Dollar is increasing.
Financial commentators also refer to U.S. Dollars as “Greenbacks”. This second nickname refers to the 1800s and the American civil war. Each side issued their own currency, and the most commonly used paper notes of the era had a distinctive green coloring on the back, hence the name, Greenback.
The official currency of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is called the Pound Sterling. So if you hear that the “Sterling has stumbled” that means that the Pound has gone down in value compared to other currencies. This can happen when bad financial news affects the UK, such as when the Brexit vote occured.
The metal thread that you can still find in British Pounds today is a result of an effort to combat forged banknotes. It was estimated that at the end of World War II one in every ten pounds was fake!
Why Is The Euro Called the “Fiber”?
The Euro has attracted the nickname “Fiber” which is taken to be a reference to the new age cotton polymer fiber blend that is used in each banknote
The name “Euro” was officially chosen in 1995, but the actual currency did not debut until January 1, 1999. For the first three years the Euro was purely an “accounting” currency. Paper coins and money to be used for everyday activities only began to be used on January 1, 2002.
Why do Canadians use Loonies?
Canada introduced a new one dollar coin in 1987. The image on one side is of a common bird, the loon in front of a Canadian landscape. Since then, both the dollar coin and the currency have been known as the “loonie”.
A single loonie was placed in the center of the ice hockey rink of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. It must have brought the Canadian hockey teams luck, as both went on to win gold medals!
Half a world away, New Zealand also uses a bird as a nickname for its currency. The tini Kiwi bird is native to New Zealand and the local currency is called the “Kiwi Dollar” or “Kiwi” for short. So if you hear a commentator saying “the Kiwi has slipped” it means it has declined in value.
New Zealand’s banknotes are actually printed in Canada and Australia. There are rumors some rare mix-ups have meant that the wrong banknotes have been shipped to the small island nation!
USD/JPY – Ninja in the news
Japanese currency is known as the Yen, and is unique because it is much higher denomination than most other major currencies. For example, one U.S. Dollar is currently equal to around 115 Yen!
Currency traders often use amusing nicknames for currency pairs and the USD / JPYpair is known as the “Ninja”. We wonder if they also considered the “Sumo”?
Which currency pair is the Chunnel?
Another odd currency pair name is the “Chunnel”. This is the pair between the Great Britain Pound and the Euro. The pair takes its name from the English channel tunnel that connect the UK and France.
The chanel tunnel came into operation at a similar time as the Euro, which was the main reason it became the nickname for the pair – new tunnel, new currency pair nickname!
AUD/USD – aussie and ozzy, why?
Australians are well known for shortening names into nicknames and the AUD to USD currency pair is another example. The pair is simply referred to as the “Aussie”.
The Australian Dollar is sometimes known as a “commodity currency” because Australia imports millions of tons of coal, iron ore and gas every year. Currency traders who believe the price of commodities will rise may buy the AUD/USD pair to profit from that theory.
Currency trading can seem confusing at first, but the interesting nicknames used by insiders make it really easy to learn and remember the dozens of currencies and pairs. Keep coming back and you’ll be an expert in no time!