Currency Pairs Nicknames

Published by Filipe R. Costa on Wed, 30/03/2011 - 15:29

Many times, traders and professionals simplify currency pair names and refer to them using nicknames. The use of jargon is common amongst professionals that deal with something everyday, or even every hour and minute. It's a simplification, like you sometimes do when calling some friend by a short or nickname.

There are many currency pairs and cross rates, and I'm sure each has many designations. I really don't know about each of them. But major FX usually have widespread nicknames. Let's take a look.

AUD/USD

This designation refers to the pair Australian Dollar - US Dollar and is common called as Aussie or Ozzie and even Matie. The most common designation is the first one - Aussie. And the second is just a variation. This variation exists because of the difference in pronunciation between UK and US english. In the UK, Aussie is in fact read as if it were Ozzie. The double "s" is pronounced as "z". In the US, it is pronounced "s". Ozzie is maybe to remember Americans of the correct pronunciation!

Matie is also used but not often and I couldn't confirm from what it derives its name. Some traders don't even knew about that.

EUR/GBP

The cross rate composed with the Euro and the Pound is often referred as the Chunnel. The name comes from the Channel Tunnel that connects Britain and France, so the UK and the Euro zone.

EUR/JPY

It is less common to use a nickname for the major EUR/JPY but when it is used, we often hear Euppy or Yuppy. Euppy is a smashing of the words that compose the name for the pair EUR/JPY. Take the first two words of EUR and the last two of JPY and you get EU-PY. Add a "P" in between and you have a much prettier name! Because Euppy is read Yuppy, sometimes you will see that name instead. Pronunciation should be the same.

EUR/USD

This is one of the most traded pairs and it is usually referred as simply the Euro. In certain occasions it is possible to hear it be called as Fiber. The name fiber has two explanations. By one side, it derives the name from the fact the pair GBP/USD is called cable. because the European currency is much new traders decide to make an "upgrade" on the old telecommunications cable that connects the UK and US, to a much newer fiber cable. So, it is mainly a play with words. By other side, and reinforcing the use of the fiber word, the Euro zone is said to to have one of the greatest optical fiber network in the world.

GBP/JPY

Geppy and Gopher are the most heard names for the pair GBP/JPY. Sometimes you can also hear Guppy. The names Geppy and Guppy are taken by squeezing the pair name. It is a situation similar to the case for EUR/JPY. Take the first letters of one and the last of the other, make small arrangements to make it sound better and there it is.

As for the name Gopher, i really was not able to confirm its origins.

GBP/USD

The pair GBP/USD is commonly named as Cable. This is one of the best known nicknames used in Forex. The name is derived from the steel cable laid under the Atlantic Ocean in 1858 to link the UK and US, enabling telegraphic messages with currency prices to be transmitted between the London and New York exchanges. The name Cable, as already mentioned, is in the origins of the nickname Fiber attributed to the relatively new EUR/USD pair.

NZD/USD

It is not hard to guess the name for this one. The pair is known as Kiwi, the name by which New Zealanders are commonly known.

USD/CAD

USD/CAD has at least three main nicknames: Loonie, The Funds, and Beaver. Loonie is the most used nickname and comes from the bird on the Canadian coin. The Funds is an old term used to differentiate CAD deposits from USD ones. Beaver is a less common nickname and I don't know exactly its origins.

USD/CHF

Now it's time for the Swiss currency. When it pairs with USD, it is referred as the Swissy.

USD/JPY

And finally we have the currency pair USD/JPY. It is nicknamed as both Yen and Ninja. It is not hard to see that Yen is just its official name or a short of it. As for the Ninja it seems that it relates to the fact Ninja came from Japan.

I hope that from now on when you see some of this jargon in forex websites, spread betting newsletters, or simply referred in news, you understand exactly what it is. So, don't be afraid if you read in a Forex news website that the Ninja is rising, or that cable broke a resistance level.