List of nicknames for Chicago

List of nicknames for Chicago

This article lists nicknames for the city of Chicago, Illinois.


Major nicknames

This newspaper article was published by the Cleveland Gazette in 1885
  • "The Windy City" — perhaps the best-known nickname for Chicago. There are several different theories on the origin of the nickname.
  • "Chi-Town" or "Chitown" — Pronunciation of this nickname can vary from /ˈtʃaɪtaʊn/ to /ˈʃaɪtaʊn/ (from chai-town to shy-town).
  • Chicagoland — A term for the city together with its surrounding suburbs. Sometimes the term encompasses the city and the nine counties around it. However, it is also used to mean only the suburbs.

Some nicknames are included in Carl Sandburg's 1916 poem "Chicago":

"Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads and the nation's freight handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the big shoulders."

Other nicknames are "The Queen of the West" and "The Garden City".

Minor nicknames

  • "The Miami of Canada" - As referred to by Mr. Burns in an episode of The Simpsons.
  • "New Gotham" - Because of the vast amount of footage used of the city for the 2008 film The Dark Knight.
  • "The Chill or Chi Ill" - Also used by rap musicians from the area (Chill as in Chicago Illinois).
  • "City of Broad Shoulders" - A popular variant of "City of the Big Shoulders"
  • "City on the Make" - From "Chicago, City on the Make" (1951), a prose poem by Nelson Algren.
  • "The Big Onion" - An homage to the original Native name for the area (which meant "onion"), in parallel with a popular New York nickname, "The Big Apple."
  • "City in a Garden" - English translation of the Latin motto on the city seal: "Urbs in Horto."
  • "Beirut by the Lake" - From a Wall Street Journal article during the Council Wars of the 1980s.
  • "Paris on the Prairie" - From the 1909 plan for the City of Chicago created by Daniel Burnham.
  • "Heart of America" - Chicago is one of the largest transportation centers in America and its location is near the center of the United States.
  • "Hog Butcher for the World" - Described in a poem by Carl Sandburg.
  • "The C" - The first letter in the word 'Chicago'

See also

  • List of city nicknames in Illinois


  1. ^ Maudelyne Ihejirika. "First-rate reunion for Second City." Chicago Sun-Times, December 18, 1989. 1.

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