Slang dictionary

the 6

or the six [th uh siks]

What does the 6 mean?

The 6 is a nickname for the city of Toronto, Canada. You can thank the rapper Drake for (trying to make) it a thing.

Related words:

Where does the 6 come from?

The 6

Hip-hop superstar Drake credits his fellow Torontonians and hip-hop artists Jimmy Prime and Oliver North for the 6. Jimmy Prime, for instance, tweeted the 6 in 2014. Note his handle, @Jimmyfromthe6.

Why they called Toronto the 6 isn’t exactly clear, but we’ve got some theories.

The number 6 appears in two phone area codes in the city: 416 and 647. Toronto also used to be made up of six municipalities before being joined into one in 1998.

Know Your Meme

Drake put the 6 in the spotlight in 2014–15 when he announced his next album would be called Views from the 6. It came out in 2016 just as ViewsOnline, Drake fans puzzled about what the 6 meant. He was roundly, if lovingly, ribbed for essentially single-handedly trying to make the 6 “happen” as a nickname.

Drake had previously used the 6 as a nickname for his hometown in lyrics. On his 2015 “Know Yourself,” he raps: “Runnin’ through the 6 with my woes / Countin’ money, you know how it goes.” (No, Drake, we don’t quite know how that goes.)

In Atlanta, the police have divided the city into six different patrol zones. The city’s Eastside is known as Zone 6, both by the police, hip-hop artists, and many of the local residents. Occasionally, they shorten Zone 6 to just “the 6,” as well.


Examples of the 6

I'm in the 6 Currently. 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦
@PatrickJarrett, October, 2017
Nice to see residents welcoming Lebron to the 6.
@norm, May, 2018
Turn the six upside down, it's a... seven now? According to a new poll, and a shocking one at that, Toronto locals don't call the city The 6—Drake's beloved nickname for his hometown.
Sarah MacDonald, Noisey, August, 2017

Who uses the 6?

As aggressive as Drake has been with trying to make The 6 a thing, most Torontians still call Toronto … Toronto. So, The 6 is mostly only used by Drake, his fans, and people familiar with his music. Considering Drake has over 37 million Twitter followers, he technically already has 11 Toronto’s worth of people on board with The 6.

As Drake is a fan of the Toronto Raptors NBA team, the 6 sees use among basketball fans and sports writers when talking about the team (or trying to sound cool and hip when they do).

Some Torontonians, meanwhile, are very skeptical of the 6 as a valid and meaningful nickname for the T.O. or Tronna.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of the 6 like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of the 6 that will help our users expand their word mastery.