Ask ChicagoNow: Why is Chicago called the Windy City?

Ask ChicagoNow: Why is Chicago called the Windy City?

ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds. One thing that helps tie them all together? Chicago.

With so much collective experience with the city, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions about Chicago to the group.

Why is Chicago called the Windy City?

“Every time a strong gust of wind whips down State Street, I assume it’s Rahm Emanuel chasing TIFF money.” — Kim Cavill, Sex Positive Parent

“People think it’s called The Windy City due to the strong winds, but it’s really due to all the long winded councilmen (and women) in City Hall who seem to talk a big game, but do little actual work.” — Jessica Gardner, Little Merry Sunshine

“It was called the Windy City because of the endless talk from our politicians.” — Dr. Joe Imperato, Health Care Mythologies

“The term ‘wind’ in the 19th century, when Chicago was young, was what we would now refer to as ‘hot air.’ As I understand it, the term came not from City Council but from national party conventions.” — Margaret H. Laing, Margaret Serious

“As a rhetorician, I love the double meaning. It’s definitely the political rhetoric, but those winds off the lake…” — Kerri K. Morris, Cancer Is Not A Gift

“I thought it was because of the weather until I was told it was because of the changing attitudes of the politicians.” — Sabrina Nixon, Purple Reigns: How to Live a Full Life with Lupus

“Most Chicagoans know that Chicago is called the ‘Windy City’ because of the politicians blowing all that hot air (I always imagine Richard M. Daley when I think about that). But if you’ve ever walked downtown during an arctic freeze, you begin to wonder when that cold air channels through the skyscrapers and hits you in the face like a solid block of ice…” — Angela Soriano, less than perfect

“I believe I read somewhere that it was the Chicago delegation sent to pitch the World’s Fair Committee (or whatever it was called) to award the Fair to Chicago — the fair that became the White City 1893 World’s Fair. Apparently they were louder and more long-winded than the other cities’ delegations. So some east coast newspaper dubbed Chicago the ‘Windy City.’ Chicago got the fair. Bulking up the population by annexing several suburbs helped, too.” — Floyd Sullivan, Waiting4Cubs

If you have a question about Chicago that you want answered, email it to mschwerha@tronc.com. Think you have the answer to the above question? Let us know in the comments below.

Lead image via Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune

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