Market professionals have their own terminology or widely accepted nicknames for the currency pairs that they trade. As these traders will invariably be referring to each different pair numerous times a day, these abbreviated terms have come to be understood and accepted as the common parlance in the financial markets. Some of these terms have an obvious origin but others are more obscure or based on a historical fact.
GBP/USD, for example, has the most recognised moniker of “Cable.” This term dates back to the 19th century when the exchange rate between the British pound and the U.S. dollar was transmitted across the Atlantic by the means of cable that lay on the seabed between the two countries.
EUR/GBP is often referred to as the “Chunnel.” It comes from the name given to the Channel tunnel which links the UK to Europe.
USD/CAD has a number of nicknames: “Loonie” and “The Funds” being the most popular. “Loonie” comes from the bird that is displayed on a Canadian coin whilst “The Funds” was an old term used to differentiate between CAD and USD deposits.
USD/JPY is often called the “Yen” for the obvious reason that the Yen is the currency of Japan. It is also called the Ninja which relates to a person trained in ancient Japanese martial arts.
Other nicknames are simply the result of squeezing the two names in the pair together and shortening them:
GBP/JPY is often called the “Guppy” or “Geppy” as a variation. Another term for this spread is “Gopher.”
The term for EUR/JPY is derived in a similar fashion and is called the “Euppy” or “Yuppy.”
Some of the more obvious ones are USD/CFH which is called the “Swissy.” NZD/USD is called the “Kiwi” and AUD/USD referred to as the “Ozzie.”
The EUR/USD is known as one of the most recent pairs. Apart from the widely used term “Cable,” it is also usually called the “Euro” although the term “Fibre” is often attached to it. The reason for the term “Fibre” is believed to relate to the composition of the Euro note whilst others claim it is due to the cable referred to in USD/GBP being replaced with fibre.
On a more humorous note the USD/RUB and EUR/RUB pairs are called “Barnie” and “Betty” respectively. This is because the Russian currency of Rouble, or Ruble, sounds a lot like the surname of Barney and Betty Rubble in the animated series, “The Flintstones.”
Although these terms are fun, quick and are widely used in the professional markets, it is strongly advised that very clear and exact instructions, using precise language, are given to a broker when placing an order, especially by phone.