Chicago is known as the Windy City.

CHICAGO is often referred to as the ‘Windy City,’ but it might surprise you.

This nickname has a fascinating backstory and does not have anything to do with the city’s notoriously breezy weather.

Chicago is known as the Windy City.

Common misconception is that Chicago is America’s windiest place. In reality, it is not even in the top 10 of most rankings.

So, where did the name “Windy City” come from?

In 1893, a New York Sun journalist called Chicago politicians “Windy City”. This was the first time the nickname has been recorded. “full of hot air”.


Chicago’s iconic skyline seen from the John Hancock Observatory, 94th FloorCredit: Getty

As both cities tried to host the World’s Fair, the city was at war with New York. Charles Dana, a reporter for Charles Dana, warned readers not to ignore this warning. “nonsensical claims of that windy city.”

Although the tag was meant to bring down Chicago’s hopes it didn’t work. Illinois won the fair later that year.

But there’s a different explanation as to where the moniker came.

Some say that the nickname “Windy City” was popular long before Dana’s New York Sun hit. Newspaper articles that reference the tag were also found before 1893.

Many believe that the name was chosen to reflect the famous weather that blows off Lake Michigan as well as the proud citizens.

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s 1876 article used the term to describe a tornado that ripped through Chicago, while the Chicagoans were getting their brazen reputation.

What are Chicago’s other nicknames, you ask?

Chicago’s most recognizable nickname is “Windy City”, but there are other terms that can be used to describe the city.

Chicagoans are familiar with the name ‘Chi-Town’. It doesn’t take much to understand why. Chicagoans often refer to the area as “The Second City”, which may be a reference to the time when the city was rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

This is a quote from Carl Sandburg’s famous poem ‘Chicago’. Many Americans know Windy City as ‘The City of Big Shoulders’.


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