Bundesliga News

Here's where the Bundesliga clubs' nicknames come from

By Rune Gjerulff

Why are Bayer Leverkusen known as 'Die Werkself'? And why are Borussia Dortmund called BVB? Find out here.

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Photo: Marco Verch, CC BY-SA 2.0

Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Die Werkself (The Eleven of the Company)
The club was founded by employees of the pharmaceutical company Bayer AG, and that is where the nickname derives from.


Borussia Dortmund: Die Schwarzgelben (The Black and Yellow)
The name 'Die Schwarzgelben' doesn't require much of an explanation as it simply refers to the club colors – black and yellow. Borussia Dortmund are also known as BVB, which stands for Ballspiel-Verein Borussia (Borussia club for ball games).

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Die Fohlen (The Foals)
Derives from coach Hennes Weisweiler's young, technical and attacking team that won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 and since established itself in the league with highly entertaining football.

Eintracht Frankfurt: Die Adler (The Eagles)
Frankfurt's nickname comes from the club's crest, which has an eagle on it.

FC Augsburg: Die Fuggerstädter (Residents of the Fugger City)
Augsburg is commonly referred to as the Fuggerstadt (the Fugger city) as a reference to the Fugger family - an important business and banking dynasty in the small Bavarian city during the Renaissance.

FC Bayern München: Die Roten (The Reds)
A simple reference to the club's red kit. During the 90's, Bayern were also nicknamed FC Hollywood – a name that is still used sometimes. At the time, the club lacked discipline and was troubled by internal problems. Many stories of the internal trouble were leaked to the tabloids who came up with the name.


FC Schalke 04: Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blue)
Simply derives from the club's royal blue shirts. The club are also known as 'Die Knappen' (The Miners), because many of the players were originally coalmine workers of Gelsenkirchen.

Fortuna Düsseldorf: Die Flingeraner (From the district of Flingern)
A reference to the working-class district of Flingern, where the club started.

Hertha Berlin: Die Alte Dame (The Old Lady)
With Hertha also being a women's first name, the club from 1892 are known as 'The Old Lady'.

RB Leipzig: Die Roten Bullen (The Red Bulls)
With energy drink company Red Bull being the sole investor of the club, the nickname is rather self-explanatory.

SC Freiburg: Breisgau-Brasilianer (Brazilians of Breisgau)
The club from the city of Freiburg im Breisgau got their nickname because of their attractive style of play under the management of Volker Finke in the 90's.

SC Paderborn: None.
SC Paderborn don't really have a nickname, actually. For many years, Paderborn had two football clubs – TuS Schloss Neuhaus and FC Paderborn. They merged into TuS Paderborn/Neuhaus in 1985 and changed their name to SC Paderborn 07 in 1997, referring to the year TuS Schloss Neuhaus were founded, 1907.

SV Werder Bremen: Die Grün-Weißen (The Green-Whites)
Another self-explanatory nickname, which derives from the club colors. Werder Bremen are also known as 'Die Werderaner' (The River Islanders), which refers to the geographical area where the club are located.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Die Kraichgauer (From the Kraichgau region)
Derives from the geographical position of Hoffenheim in the Kraichgau region.

VfL Wolfsburg: Die Wölfe (The Wolves)
Wolf means the same in German as in English, and with that word being a part of the club's name, it makes sense that Wolfsburg are known as The Wolves.

1. FC Köln: Die Geißböcke (The Billy Goats)
A reference to the club's mascot, a male goat named Hennes after the former FC Köln player and manager Hennes Weisweiler.

1. FC Union Berlin Die Eisernen (The Iron Ones)
Union's nickname derives from their working-class roots. The club used to play in blue kits, which matched the uniform of local factory workers, hence earning the nickname 'Schlosserjungs' (metalworker boys).

1. FSV Mainz 05: Die Nullfünfer (The O-Fives)
Mainz are known as 'The 0-Fives' as a reference to the year the club was founded, which also is a part of the club's name.


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