One of the greatest indicators of locals' love for Albuquerque is the plethora of affectionate nicknames that have been ascribed to the city. Here is a breakdown of each of the many Albuquerque nicknames and how you can use them in a way that helps you fit right in with the locals.
This one might be the most obvious - the airport code and the shortest of nicknames that really gets the point across. This is the abbreviation locals use as they address their snail-mail or jot the city's name down in a hurry. It includes the most recognizable letters in the lengthy name!
Pronounced "boor-kay", this Albuquerque nickname is used most frequently with Albuquerque’s younger generation, an affectionate, shortened version of the city's original spelling with an additional "r" before the first "q" (see the section below). Additionally, this nickname has evolved into nicknames for locals and natives as “Burqueños” and “Burqueñas” and pays homage to the one-of-a-kind character that Albuquerque dwellers possess.
While this isn't necessarily a nickname of Albuquerque, it is a different spelling of the city's name. This version was actually the city's original spelling, after the Duke of Alburquerque, with an additional "r" before the first "q". Eventually in the formal name, that first "r" was dropped. Occasionally you'll see this original spelling used in various circumstances - for example, the Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque that takes place every summer still uses this version.
This particular nickname stems from two different origins. “Duke City” gained popularity when the city’s baseball team was the Albuquerque Dukes, which boasted a loyal fan base throughout the city. You'll likely still catch locals sporting hats and shirts expressing their love for the Albuquerque Dukes. The Albuquerque Dukes, however, were named after the 10th Duke of Alburquerque, which is where the city's original name comes from. When the city was founded over 300 years ago, the founders chose to honor the 10th Duke of Alburquerque by naming the next city after him. Either way, you'll hear locals, news anchors, and other media sources refer to Albuquerque by this popular and timeless nickname.
The 505 quite literally comes from New Mexico's most common area code, (505)! It rolls off the tongue nicely with the zero in the middle pronounced like “oh”.
Albuquerque is known for a number of unique and fun features that give a quirky element to the city’s personality. From a singing highway and a Tinkertown museum to “naughty” candy-makers and spaceship houses, Albuquerque has made a valiant effort at earning this nickname. Discover more ABQ oddities here.
The Spanish translation of Albuquerque is “White Oak”. This isn’t necessarily a commonly-used nickname of the city, but rather an endearing meaning, which also ties in appropriately with the city’s surrounding natural beauty.
A fairly straight-forward nickname here - the most unique and repeated of letters in the city’s name is easily shortened to - The Q.
Whether you are a visitor or a four-generation Albuquerque native, it's fun to use the number of nicknames given to New Mexico's biggest city. If you're new, keep your ears and eyes open as you hear the term "Burqueño" as you walk down the street, or see "505 Salsa" on the jar in the grocery store!