The nicknames of San Jose, CA

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What’s in a name? Dating back to the 1800s, San Jose has always carried a few nicknames. Today, we’re talking about some of these monikers + how they came to be. 💬

🚜 “Valley of the Heart’s Delight”

In the late 1800s, our fields were abundant with ~4 million fruit trees and by the early 1900s, we were one of the world’s largest suppliers of California fruits. A 1910 brochure also refers to us as “The Garden City” citing our favorable climate, agricultural supply, and farming land. The brochure mentioned our population of ~33,000so this is a pretty dated reference.

💾 “The Capital of Silicon Valley”

In 1988, Mayor Tom McEnery popularized this name to promote our innovative city before tech companies had even moved in. Fiction became fact, and we soon became home to powerful tech players like eBay, Cisco, and IBM + inventions like the floppy disk and hard drive.


We’ve even got a nickname for this venue. | Photo by SJtoday staff

🦈 “Teal Town” or “Fin City”

While we know this is a reference to our Sharks, did you know that the iconic Sharks logo’s triangle is a reference to San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland? This distinguishes our team as not just a San Jose team, but a Bay Area team.

🚹 “Man Jose”

In the early 2000s, men did outnumber women in San Jose due to the largely male-dominated tech + engineering fields. You might even remember that for a time, Mission Ale House was known as Mission ‘Male’ House. That has since changed, and we have just about an equal ratio now.

🎨 “Tan Jose”

About six years ago, Mercury News reporter Sal Pizarro pointed out that San Jose’s buildings had a color problem — or lack thereof. However, we’ve personally seen a lot of improvement in this area...

What do you think of these nicknames? Do you have more to say about our locally-known names? Let us know.