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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
April 2021
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Kiff Kombis Tours Kiff Kombi local special: fall in love ...

Travel, eat, drink with friends in a vibey kombi, driver included (20% off price)

Wolfkop Camping Villages and Nature ReserveWolfkop holiday specials: glamp for up ...

Plus 9 activities also at half-price: bodyboard the Olifants, hike, see rock paintings ...

Whale Rock LodgeWhales, wine and a special reader’s ...

Get 10% off your Hermanus holiday plus a complimentary bottle of wine

Gallery 19 high streetFirst Fridays, the social event in ...

Talk to gallerists, art lovers and drink wine from this famous region

Nelson Makamo See world-famous SA artist Nelson ...

Opening night (with Makamo) fully booked. Walk-about in planning

Chard Grill Weekly burger specials plus 2 happy ...

R99 for two burgers and R30 for all wine, beer and gin

Hermanus Guest HouseBook a luxe Hermanus stay on this ...

Colourful, central + opposite a gorgeous (safe) tidal pool

Burgundy RestaurantYour guide to eating at Burgundy ...

Beer-battered hake + chips, seafood pasta and a local delicacy

CoupleWhat to watch at The Galileo open-air ...

Classic movies on Wednesdays to Sundays. Plus picnic screening at Kirstenbosch

Light ArtSpier Light Art Exhibition: it’s ...

Pre-book your space on Dineplan, and consider staying over

Windsor HotelIncredible room specials at Windsor ...

Now and during whale season. Plus one kid under 12 stays free

WSDC BoatSpectacular rates on shark cage diving ...

For R700 less. Plus ask for current readers’ specials

Ficks cocktail 2Ficks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

Riebeek Kasteel EventGallery Riebeek Kasteel shows off the ...

This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history

Rupert Museum Add Rupert Museum to your Stellenbosch ...

Legendary Sam Nhlengethwa has an exhibition and playing personal vinyl collection

Glen carlouFine art, excellent wine, delicious ...

Take the day and visit this top wine farm to view local art and eat exceptional food

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

Sticky koesisters, authentic Cape Malay curry and gorgeous harbour views

Distillers & Union Make your unique brand of gin

And there’s more: vodka, rum, fiery ginger beer plus the chance to tour this working ...

T-Roc PartnerPre-order the T-Roc from Barons Cape ...

The T-Roc is here. Test drive now and pre-order to spec!

Pierneef food and wine pairing 2Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek Estate

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