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...Cape Town Mother City?

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...Cape Town Mother City?

Ever wondered why Cape Town is referred to as the Mother City?


A city as vibrant as Cape Town is bound to have a few interesting nicknames. “Tavern of the Seas” is one of these, as Cape Town was the relax-and-refresh hub where weary sailors would gather after being at sea for months on end.

Subscribe to our (free) newsletter to find out about the special story of Cape Town's real first name: Camissa.

Another almost-forgotten nickname for Cape Town is “Cape Grab”, which Cape Town was known as because of certain innkeepers who charged very high rates for sailors looking for board and lodging.

A more commonly-used nickname for Cape Town, which is the oldest town in South Africa, is the “Mother City”, and the reasoning behind this takes a little more investigation to figure out.

The Mother City is an affectionate nickname, which is widely known and used among locals and visitors to Cape Town alike. There are a number of suggested reasons why Cape Town is called the Mother City, and the most commonly offered explanation is as follows, in the words of Selwyn Davidowitz, an accredited Cape Town tour guide/operator:

“In the 1930's some unknown party wrote to the local cape Town newspaper claiming that Cape Town was the only city in South Africa that could justly call itself a metropolis. The public took to this description and because the word metropolis is derived from the Greek derivation of meter or metros meaning mother and polis meaning city, the nickname of "Mother City" was born. Hence today we know our wonderful city as being the Mother City."

Another (rather more candid) explanation that has been offered as to why Cape Town is called the “Mother City” is that it is “due to the highly expressive vocabulary of the local dialect (in which the words "your mother" features regularly) and also that it takes 9 months to do anything in this sleepy hollow.” This is according to the tongue-in-cheek website, Uncyclopedia.org.

However that's more to do with the the fact that at times it was a "Slaapstad".

Cape Town's a thriving city in development. 

Wamkelekile eKapa.

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CapeTownMagazine.com is always discovering around the Mother City and have people that wonder asking us ..what's the deal with that?

 

In this section we investigate that crucial core question one at a time. 

What is it in Cape Town that puzzles you? Tell us and we'll investigate it for you... send us your enigma or your answers to writer@capetownmagazine.com.

 

Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2021
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Galileo-picnic-friday-nights-under-the-skyThe Galileo Open Air Cinema in the Cape ...

Book a Saturday-night movie on a wine farm, settle on the lush lawns + unpack your picnic

Galileo Outdoor Cinema 4Friday nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Screening location include Battery and Central parks, and Meerendal Wine Estate

Norval_Foundation_Cape_Town_Athi-Patra_Ruga_installationOn at Norval Foundation

Athi-Patra Ruga’s iridescent art on black pioneers + more in Sculpture Garden

Southern_Guild_Cape_Town_South_Africa_Rich_Mnisi_NyokaOn at the Southern Guild

Free: See fashion prodigy Rich Mnisi’s bewitching furniture exhibition

Uber Go Cape Town We asked you where you would go with a ...

Your answers were delightful (plus Uber Go explained)

Escape Room Game Cape TownPlay Cape Town’s original Live Escape ...

The door closes. You have 60 minutes to get out...

Wonderdal Tree of Light Have the birthday party your child ...

Includes a colourful Amuki cake, party bag + 7 edu-zones to explore

Oasis Association Claremont coffee shopDo Good

3 ways to support Oasis: shop, donate or take your recycling there

Maker's LandingMaker’s Landing, the Waterfront’s ...

Cakes too beautiful to eat, short rib dumplings and gorgeous harbour views

Zsa Zsa Cape Town Craving a wild night out? Zsa Zsa Cape ...

Nightly live performances, theatrical cocktails + decadent menu

Beach barA beach bar in Paarl!

Pizza, beach vibes, cocktails, and stunning views, the recipe for a perfect day

Thrift_Fest_Cape_Town_Blue_BirdSecond Hand, Handmade and Hands On, At ...

Thrift Markets all around the city: here’s where to find them

LeMottetastingVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

GiveawaysTravel Tips