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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 2018
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Blackcoffee_new4Black Coffee live: Full Summer Concert ...

Plus: Watch 3 videos to get you in the mood for Black Coffee's summer residency at Shimmy ...

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

Santa's Village V&A WaterfrontV&A Waterfront Opens Santa’s Village ...

Flying in from the North Pole, Santa will be in Cape Town to see if kids have been ...

Panasonic_Siya_360% Off On Electronics at NEW Panasonic ...

Do your Christmas shopping at the all-new Panasonic pop-up store at Panasonic House in ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Botane Skin Actives New Images 2Get 20% Off BOTANē Skin Actives ...

Simplified skin health for less in store this holiday season

Gipsy Kings at Grand Africa Cafe & Beach 2Dinner With The Gipsy Kings At Grand ...

The iconic flamenco band hits Cape Town shores for one hell of a show

pinelands_marketGet Festive At Pinelands Craft & Gift ...

Free entry to this market brimming with delicious food and good quality, well-priced ...

Free Salsa Fridays at PicadasFree Salsa Lessons At This Hidden ...

Every Friday night is salsa night at this festive Shortmarket street Latino bar

Summer Glice Rink Mini Neon Pop-up Summer Ice Skating ...

You read that right, kids can go ice skating in summer

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 5Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointGet Irie On The Sunset Deck At Strolla ...

Live reggae music every Saturday at Strolla: sprawl out on the Corona Sunset Deck as the ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

Cape Town Helicopters Generic NEW 3Fly Fridays: Helicopter Rides For Less

Want that extra-special experience to round off the week? These are the city’s most ...

legends_live_in_concertCelebrate The Music Legends All On One ...

A talented 10-piece cast impersonates music legends to perfection

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Boschendal_FridayMarket2Fresh: Friday Night Market in the ...

Rain or shine: Now more farm-fresh food stalls and seating, plus: local music and great ...

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

surfing muizenbergLearn To Surf Or Perfect Your Skills In ...

New to the surfing game? You’re in good hands at African Soul Surfer

African Soul Surfer Backpackers in Cape TownBook a Surf and Yoga Retreat at the ...

This week-long surf and yoga camp includes breakfast, accommodation and all your ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Le Bonheur 10Snap up a Pizza and Reptile Adventure ...

Enjoy a delicious wood-fired pizza while taking a tour of the crocodile pond or the snake ...

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Kiff Kombi - Durbanville - 1Experience Cape Town's Most Spirited ...

All aboard, gin lovers! Here’s what to expect on a tour of Cape Town’s quaintest, ...

Cartel House 10Grab Yourself Free Flapjacks Every ...

Members only: Luxury co-working office space Cartel House serves up hot and fresh ...

Kirstenbosch Christmas CarolsSing Along At Cape Town’s Historic ...

Tis the season for carols...

Aces 'n' SpadesFriday Night Live at Aces ‘n’ Spades

They will rock you

Cherry Picking Ceres Klondyke Farm 3Cherry On Top: Klondyke Kicks Off ...

Pick your cherries and eat them too at this family-friendly cherry farm in Ceres

Canal Walk Ice Slide World 6Cool For The Summer At Canal Walk’s ...

A world of frozen fun this festive season

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

Cloud 9 Hotel 3Spa and Sparkling Wine Special at ...

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