Why is Chicago Called the Windy City

From “Chi-Town” to “The Second City,” the city of Chicago has been coined many things, but perhaps the most recognizable of all of these nicknames is “The Windy City.” While the exact origin of this nickname is not precisely known, there are many theories that attempt to explain the roots of the name. Before traveling to the “The Windy City,” brush up on the history of the nickname to familiarize you with the traditions and history of the city.

With a name like “The Windy City,” you’d expect that the weather plays a part in the name and even describes the weather that is experienced in the city and you would be right – partially. Sitting on the shores of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, the city does often experience windy conditions; however, it should be noted that the weather does not exactly play a significant part in creating such notably windy conditions. It is believed that the large buildings that the city is famous for actually play a role in the city’s windy conditions. It is thought that the winds that blow off of Lake Michigan get caught between the buildings, creating a sort of vortex, and sweep down onto the streets of the city, creating windy conditions.

"The Windy City"

Another theory behind why Chicago is called The Windy City is because of the city’s rivalry with the neighboring city of Cincinnati. During the 1860s and 1870s, Cincinnati was the top meatpacking city and was proud of that title. Chicago surpassed Cincinnati’s meatpacking numbers and took over the title that the city loved so much. Chicago also created a baseball team, the White Stockings (now known as the White Sox,) to rival Cincinnati’s Red Stockings and the Chicago-based team blew their opponents out of the water. Natives of Cincinnati began referring to Chicago as “The Windy City” because it was full of braggarts who were “full of wind.”

Why is Chicago called The Windy City, you ask? Though the origin of the name may not be precisely known, its fame cannot be denied. Mention the name The Windy City and people from around the United States, as well as the world, will know that you are referring to Chicago. This affectionate name is one that Chicagoans are proud of. So go ahead, book your trip to The Windy City and refer to it as throughout your journey.

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