Trivia

Hard

The New York City Nickname “Gotham” Was Coined By?

Charlie Chaplin
Mark Twain
Bob Kane
Washington Irving
An 1809 oil painting of Washington Irving by John Wesley Jarvis.
Public Domain/Wikimedia

Answer: Washington Irving

Most people know the phrase “Gotham City” thanks to Batman and the crime-ridden NYC-like mega-metropolis he protects. As such, it would be very easy to assume that the nickname for New York City, Gotham, was coined by the creators of Batman (like early Batman co-writer Bob Kane).

The roots of the nickname, curiously, reach much farther back than Batman’s late 1930s appearance in the comic universe (and in fact, Batman’s city is not referred to as “Gotham City” until Batman #4 in December 1940).

The term Gotham actually dates all the way back to 1807 when it was coined by the 19th-century author Washington Irving. During the early part of his career as an author and essayist, Irving collaborated on a satirical New York-culture critiquing publication called Salmagundi (which, to compare it to modern culture, was similar to MAD Magazine). In November of 1807, in the seventeenth issue of the publication, Irving referred to New York City as “Gotham”, an Anglo-Saxon word which translates to “Goat’s Town”.

The nickname stuck and not only does it live on in the lore of the DC Universe thanks to the widespread popularity of Batman, but it also crops up in the name of NYC-centered publications like Gotham magazine, the Gotham Gazette, and the blog Gothamist.

Trivia

Very Hard

There Is A Long Standing Folklore Legend In The Balkans Regarding Vampiric What?

Trivia

Easy

Free Ice Machines Are A Fixture In Hotels Across America Thanks To Which Hotel?

Trivia

Easy

Which U.S. Government Agency’s Outstanding Bill Was Paid By Radio Listeners In 2009?

Trivia

Easy

Atomic Time Is Kept Using Atoms Of What Type?

Trivia

Hard

In 2004 The FDA Approved What Ancient Medical Technique?

Trivia

Hard

The Real World Hospital That Inspired Fictional Arkham Asylum Was Located In?

Trivia

Hard

The Coldest Permanently Inhabited Place On Earth Is?

Trivia

Hard

Stephen King’s “The Shining” Was Inspired By Which Of These Real Life Hotels?

Trivia

Hard

Which Song Was Requested By Carl Sagan But Not Included On The Voyager Records?

Trivia

Hard

Which of These Sci-Fi Ships Was Once Slated for a Full-Size Replica in Las Vegas?