PDA

View Full Version : Chicago Nicknames



JohnnyGottaKeyboard
02-11-2015, 05:25 AM
Very specific area of expertise question. I have a character from Chicago, but as I am not a native myself, I'm left to wonder if the locals have any specific way of referring to their city. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_for_Chicago) lists various Chicago nicknames, but much like we San Franciscans don't usually refer to our city as Frisco (except in jest), I wouldn't like to have my native Chicagoan refer to his city as Chitown if natives usually don't.

Thanks.

T Robinson
02-11-2015, 05:47 AM
Very specific area of expertise question. I have a character from Chicago, but as I am not a native myself, I'm left to wonder if the locals have any specific way of referring to their city. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_for_Chicago) lists various Chicago nicknames, but much like we San Franciscans don't usually refer to our city as Frisco (except in jest), I wouldn't like to have my native Chicagoan refer to his city as Chitown if natives usually don't.

Thanks.

Not from there, but I've always heard it referred to as "The Windy City."

Lewis Grizzard, southern icon, wrote about his time there.

Alessandra Kelley
02-11-2015, 06:02 AM
No. We don't.






"Chicagoland, " by the way, is a term used, so far as I can tell, only by near suburbanites trying to rub a little of the cachet of the actual city onto their fairly undifferentiated and bland territories. It's a nice change from when they wanted to pretend they were part of "downstate" (Illinois-speak for everything not Chicago).

I think it dates to the realization that A., Chicago is actually pretty neat and interesting and full of life compared to the cookie cutter suburbs around it, and B., Downstate will lump all near suburbs in with Chicago anyway and hate the whole assemblage together with equal venom.

T Robinson
02-11-2015, 06:09 AM
No. We don't.






"Chicagoland, " by the way, is a term used, so far as I can tell, only by near suburbanites trying to rub a little of the cachet of the actual city onto their fairly undifferentiated and bland territories. It's a nice change from when they wanted to pretend they were part of "downstate" (Illinois-speak for everything not Chicago).

I think it dates to the realization that A., Chicago is actually pretty neat and interesting and full of life compared to the cookie cutter suburbs around it, and B., Downstate will lump all near suburbs in with Chicago anyway and hate the whole assemblage together with equal venom.

Now I am curious. Do you (the collective inhabitants of Chicago) call the city anything?

For example, Atlanta is generally just Atlanta, except in the tour guides. Then you get Hotlanta, etc. ,,,,,,,,,,,,not a direct resident of Atlanta>

Alessandra Kelley
02-11-2015, 06:25 AM
Now I am curious. Do you (the collective inhabitants of Chicago) call the city anything?

For example, Atlanta is generally just Atlanta, except in the tour guides. Then you get Hotlanta, etc. ,,,,,,,,,,,,not a direct resident of Atlanta>

We call it "Chicago."

Most of the people I know pronounce it "shih-KAH-goh."

Old Mayor Daley used to pronounce it "shih-KAW-goh," but that is considered low class and obscure.

The local classical music radio station pronounces it "sh-KAH-goh." That's the highfalutin' pronunciation.

Never, ever, ever is it pronounced "tchi-ka-goh" as if the first syllable were "Chick."

And no-one here calls it "Chi-town."

Alessandra Kelley
02-11-2015, 06:31 AM
Another thing about Chicago. "Uptown" is historically a major skid row area and "Downtown" is the Gold Coast and other upscale living and shopping areas.

This is why the ad campaign transplanted unchanged from New York City by an unthinking ad executive, "Uptown Food at Downtown Prices," did not catch on.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
02-11-2015, 06:41 AM
This is why the ad campaign transplanted unchanged from New York City by an unthinking ad executive, "Uptown Food at Downtown Prices," did not catch on.But it certainly must have made the locals laugh!

Thanks for the help!

blacbird
02-11-2015, 06:57 AM
Not from there, but I've always heard it referred to as "The Windy City.".

As an aside, the reason for this nickname has nothing to do with the weather (even though it can indeed by pretty windy there). It arose from the predilection of local people to brag about how wonderful the city was, probably out of a bit of jealousy at being the second most populous U.S. city, behind New York City.*

Poet Carl Sandburg famously called it "the city of big shoulders."

caw


*I believe it's now 4th, behind NYC, LA and Houston, Texas.

snafu1056
02-12-2015, 06:21 AM
I like "hog butcher to the world". It sounds vaguely like a threat.

Quickbread
02-12-2015, 06:28 AM
Yep, I'll second what Alessandra said. We call it Chicago and that's that. Or it's simply "the city," as opposed to the suburbs and the country.

Deb Kinnard
02-12-2015, 04:12 PM
"Chicagoland" is not the term of choice for suburbanites wanting to rub a little cachet. Most of us don't feel the city has much to rub...

"Chicagoland" is also the ad-penetration area of the local TV and radio outlets. Much of the time you hear it as "your Chicagoland and northwest Indiana xxxx dealers!", in order not to leave out the potential non-Illinois suburban market. Ya wouldn't want them to go without that dime.

And we don't use nicknames. We're not the "Windy City," unless you're my husband after he eats beans. We would never use Chi or Chi-Town unless in extreme jest.

We take the Wild Onion (or Garlic, there is divergence of opinion) very seriously. And I rarely hear suburbanites (I are one) ever refer to themselves as Chicagoans. We leave that for all those living within the city limits.

StormChord
02-12-2015, 10:10 PM
I call it "the city". It's the only city that matters, after all. *dodges angry New Yorkers*

Beyond that, if it's exceptionally cold that day I'll jokingly use the Chiberia nickname, but that's about it.