What’s the use of living somewhere cool if your town doesn’t have a nickname to match its coolness? Driving past a Q billboard on I-25 reminds me that Albuquerque residents have already solved this problem and now others can, too, using the method described below. A chart follows, for visual learners.
Start with an early version of your town’s name, say, Alburquerque for Albuquerque, or New Amsterdam for New York. This allows you to honor history. Then, drop the first two letters of the old name. This allows you to honor history, but not too much. Next, adapt the excellent advice of Strunk & White: omit needless characters. Do this by dropping any spaces or repeats of consonants from the newly formed first and second syllables. It’s important that a nickname be short, so any syllables beyond these two are now extraneous and should be dropped as well. This leaves your town’s new, cool nickname. Honor it as you would a secret handshake. Meanwhile, let promoters tell outsiders your town’s nickname is actually “The” something.
This is why we call our town Burque and why no one we actually know will ever call it The Q. It is also why we may think of New York as The Big Apple but all the cool people there call it Wamster.
ALBURQUERQUE > BURQUERQUE > BURQUEQUE > BURQUE
NEW AMSTERDAM > W_AMSTERDAM > WAMSTERDAM > WAMSTER