What do EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and USD/CHF have in common? They’re all quite a mouthful!
Thankfully, traders have been simplifying currency pair names for decades by using easy-to-remember nicknames. These mnemonic monikers have become common parlance within the trading world, and you’ll see them pop up again and again on financial news sites, Forex brokerages, and trading forums.
If you’re new to the trading game, you may not know your Cables from your Fibers. But you’re in luck. Learn to speak the lingo like a true trader with our FX currency pair glossary.
Cable is the oldest Forex nickname that’s still in use. The term refers to the exchange rate between GBP and USD. It’s also sometimes used to refer to the British pound alone. The nickname originated in the mid-19th century. Back then, currency prices were transmitted between the New York and London exchanges via miles-long steel communications cables that were laid beneath the Atlantic Ocean by submarines. Since 1858, the currency pair has continued to be known as Cable.
Since the Euro was launched in 1999, EUR/USD has overtaken GBP/USD as the most traded FX pair in the world. Traders sought to give the currency pair a fitting nickname in the tradition of the ever popular Cable. Every great technology is eventually innovated upon and the steel communication cables of yore no longer cut the mustard. In their place, super-fast fiber optic lines were introduced. Wanting to give this newer currency pair a more modern name, EUR/USD became known as the uber-cool Fiber.
Chunnel refers to that other popular currency pair EUR/GBP. The name for the pair is a portmanteau of “channel” and “tunnel”, in reference to the Channel Tunnel that connects mainland Britain to France via an underwater railway tunnel. Incidentally, the Channel Tunnel was launched around the same time as the Euro. As it essentially connects Great Britain to Europe, it made a fitting nickname for this new currency pair between two of the world’s biggest economies.
Aussie or Ozzie
Here’s a more straightforward nickname. The Aussie refers to the AUD/USD currency pair and is named after the popular slang term for Australia and Australian people. Americans usually pronounce the word as “aw-see”, whereas the Brits give the double S sound a Z inflection, hence Ozzie is also used for the same FX pair.
Remaining in the South Pacific, we come to the NZD/USD currency pair, which is known as Kiwi. Like the term Aussie, Kiwi is also a colloquial name for both the country of New Zealand and New Zealanders as a people. The name is a badge of pride for New Zealanders, and derives from a curious little flightless bird that is unique to the island.
Jumping all the way over to the American continent, we come to the Loonie. This nickname refers to the US dollar vs the Canadian dollar currency pair. And no, the name is not a jibe at those crazy Canadians. It’s actually derived from Canada’s $1 coin, which has a picture of a common loon bird on its back side.
Here’s another pretty obvious one—the Swissy. The term refers to the USD/CHF currency pair, which measures the US dollar against the Swiss franc and is considered to be one of the Major currency pairs.
The Ninja will be familiar to those who trade during the Asian session. Referring to the US dollar and Japanese Yen currency pair, the nickname Ninja stems from the fact that ninja warriors are a strong part of Japanese tradition. The USD/JPY currency pair is also popularly referred to simply as Yen.
Trading Popular Currency Pairs
Ready to put all your currency pair nickname knowledge into practice?
Trade Cable, Fiber, Chunnel, and over 50 other currency pairs with 1:500 leverage at Longhorn FX. Benefit from 24/7 support and same-day withdrawals when opening a free account!