The “Windy City” name has nothing to do with Chicago weather

 The “Windy City” name has nothing to do with Chicago weather:

Chicago city’s nickname was coined by 19th-century journalists who were referring to the fact that its residents were “windbags” and “full of hot air.”

Well, when the nickname came to be, the “Windy City” wasn’t describing the weather but the people.

Nineteenth-century journalists first gave Chicago this designation when criticizing the city’s elite as “full of hot air.”

In the Chicago Daily Tribune, a reporter wrote in 1858 that “[a] hundred militia officers, from corporal to commander … air their vanity … in this windy city.”

Another reporter, a proud citizen of Milwaukee, boasted that his own city was the better of the two: “We are proud of Milwaukee because she is not overrun with a lazy police force as is Chicago—because her morals are better … than Chicago, the windy city of the West.”

They meant that the city was full of “windbags,” people with inflated egos who cared about nothing but profit.


As Chicago continued to grow into a major metropolis, rivalries between itself and other cities grew in kind.

In 1893, despite New York journalists’ assertions that the people of “that windy city … could not hold a world’s fair even if they won it,” Chicago beat out the Big Apple to host the World’s Fair.

More and more journalists—from Cincinnati in particular—began using the “Windy City” jab, and it stuck. To us, it seems like other cities were just jealous.

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