TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka has more than a few nicknames in the local lingo, depending on who you ask.

Kansas’ capital has gone by several names over the years. Some exist as playful renditions of the city’s name while others pay homage to the history of the Sunflower State’s capital.

The Golden City

The color of gold has long been a staple symbol of Topeka going back many years. It can most commonly be seen on the city’s seal and flags. But where does this come from?

The phrase, “The Golden City,” was established by early settlers of the area due to the beauty of the city’s sunlit rolling hills and autumn, according to Visit Topeka’s website.

One of the earliest references to Topeka as “The Golden City” comes from a book written in 1890 by Mary E. Jackson called “Pen and Camera Sketches.”

“I have endeavored, in placing this book before the public, to give to strangers some knowledge of our “Golden City,” and to present something of interest to our own citizens as well.”

Pen and Camera Sketches introduction

The Capitol/Capital City

Is it capital or capitol? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary helps shed some light on the differences between the two.

Capitol refers to the building that houses a state’s legislative body or a group of buildings that help the government function. Capital has a larger range of usage and can refer to a city that serves as the seat of government for a defined area. With Topeka serving as the seat of Kansas’ state government, both terms can apply.


Appearing in many local businesses like TopCity Comedy, TopCITY Golf, Top City Athletics and more, this nickname has caught some traction in Topeka. Visit Topeka encourages locals to use #TopCity on photos posted to social media.


Seeing less use than other nicknames, this has seen a recent revival through the annual Get Down in T-Town event which celebrates the diversity of the community.

Google, Kansas

A short-lived nickname with a weird backstory, Topeka was briefly renamed to Google in 2010 by then-mayor Bill Bunten. This was done in the hopes of attracting the tech company’s interest to Topeka for the installment of a high-speed broadband network.

Google later changed its own name to Topeka as an April Fool’s joke. However, the project was ultimately given the green light in Kansas City, Kansas.

Other nicknames?

Let us know what nicknames you have for Topeka or your local neighborhood on our Facebook or Twitter.

For more local news, click here. Keep up with the latest breaking news in northeast Kansas by downloading our mobile app.