Although this tower, clock, and the bell within are often referred to collectively as Big Ben (hence this post’s title), it is the bell to which the nickname “Big Ben” originally was given. The tower, officially named Elizabeth Tower, displays the Great Clock’s faces and contains the Great Bell (a.k.a. Big Ben).
There are two theories for the origin of the Great Bell’s nickname. Either the Great Bell was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner for Works 1855-1858, or after Ben Caunt, a champion heavyweight boxer of the 1850s. The first theory is thought to be the most likely.