Reading's first nickname was the Kennetsiders, after the River Kennet which flows into the Thames in the town. This despite the club's earliest grounds being situated on the banks of the Thames.

The club's traditional nickname was the Biscuitmen, after the Huntley and Palmer's biscuit factory in the town. The Royals nickname was invented around 1975 following a supporter's poll, after the Royal County of Berkshire. The Biscuitmen era can be said to have really ended around 1982 when, due to the club's financial problems, they withdrew the traditional biscuits provided to go with the referee's half time cup of tea. Huntley and Palmer's have also gone the same way, the town now being better known for computers than biscuits.

The Royals nickname is generally used more by the press than by actual supporters, due to the scope for puns it gives. The popular nickname is the R's, the traditional cry of "You R's!" being rendered as "URZ!" The Biscuitmen nickname is also still heard among supporters of a certain age.

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