Chicago Words

“Air” The Chicagoan’s pronunciation of the letter immediately after “Q”


“Eye Bees” A term for Italian Beef sandwiches.


Alderman An elected official representing one of the many wards in Chicago in the City Council. The Chicago City Council consists of 50 aldermen, one representing each city ward. The council meets regularly to discuss legislation, orders and ordinances whose subject matter includes traffic code changes, the city’s relationship with utility providers, taxes, and much more.


Alley, The A large shopping center in East Lakeview, just north of Belmont on Clark Avenue. The Alley features new and used leather jackets, skull and marijuanabased jewelry, and novelty tshirts. It is especially popular with Napervillian teens pretending to be homeless locals.


Aragon Brawlroom The term used for the mosh pit at the Aragon Ballroom.


Argyle An eastwest thoroughfare in Roger’s Park between Berwyn and Lawrence Avenues, known for its Vietnamese community. Also a stop on the Red Line El.


Bab An abbreviation of “Robert.”


Barley Pop Beer.


Beef Short for ‘Italian Beef,’ a popular Chicago sandwich consisting of sliced beef soaked in au jus and piled on a bun of french bread with green peppers.


Big Hurt, The Frank Thomas, a valuable and popular member of the Chicago White Sox.


Big Lake, The Lake Michigan.


Big Ten The NCAA’s Division 1 Midwestern college sports conference, including Northwestern University in Evanston and the University of Illinois in Champaign.


Bleacher Bums Initially a group of especially rowdy Cub fans that frequented the outfield bleachers of Wrigley Field in the early 80’s. Now a euphemism for fans in the bleachers.


Blue Demons The mascot of DePaul University (ironically, one of the largest Catholic universities in the country).


Blues Brothers, The An extremely popular and longlasting film set in Chicago featuring John Balushi, Dan Akroyd, Carrie Fischer and many more famous names.


Blues Fest A free concert festival Grant Park.


Boot, The The Denver Boot, a moneymaking device used by the Chicago Police Department as well as private parking companies to immobilize cars until a ransom fine is paid.


Boul Mich Michigan Avenue.


Boy’s Town A prominently gay community in East Lakeview. Specifically, Boy’s Town consists of the area surrounding Halsted Avenue from Belmont north to Addison.


Bozo’s Circus A popular children’s TV show featuring Bozo the Clown, broadcasted by Chicago’s very own WGN. Bozo’s Circus was a national hit for 40 years, until it was shut down in 2001.


Brat (“braht”) bratwurst.


Bucktown A popular artist community just north of Wicker Park between North and Fullerton Avenues and from the Kennedy Expressway west to Western Avenue. Bucktown thrived as an eclectic collection of restaurants, bars, boutiques and galleries, but is quickly being overrun with condohungry yuppies that couldn’t quite make it into Lincoln Park.


Buddy Guy’s Buddy Guy’s Legends, one of Chicago’s finest blues clubs, owned and operated by Buddy Guy just south of the Loop.


C.R.A. The Chicago Rail Authority.


C.T.A. The Chicago Transit Authority.


CabriniGreen A large public housing project immediately west of Old Town, the Gold Coast, and River North. CabriniGreen is now largely abandoned and the valuable property is quickly becoming assimilated into other upscale condo communities.


Cal City Calumet City.


Cal Sag Channel The Calumet Saginaw Channel, on Chicago’s south side.


Cash Station Chicago’s mostprevalent automated teller machines (ATM’s).


Cashbox A highway tollbooth.


CBOE An acronym for the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Pronounced ‘seebow.’


CBOT An acronym for the Chicago Board of Trade. Also known as ‘The Board.’


Chad A male Lincoln Park yuppie, usually either a lawyer or employed at the Board of Trade. Chads breed in tandem with Trixies, flourishing in an environment of black labs, Starbucks, SUV/Jettas, and disdain for those of ‘lower standing.’


Chardogs Charcoalgrilled hot dogs.


Ched A Wisconsin native.


Cheek Ah Ga A local proununciation of “Chicago.”


Cheesehead A Wisconsin native.


Cheezboiger, Cheezboiger, Cheezboiger A phrase made popular in a Saturday Night Live sketch based on the Billy Goat Tavern, located on Illinois Street underneath the Michigan Avenue bridge.


ChiTown Chicago.


Chicago Transit Authority The public transportation system of Chicago, as well as the original name of the pop band “Chicago.”


Chicagostyle Hotdog A hotdog covered in onions, hot peppers, tomatoes, relish, and a pickle, never with ketchup.


ChicagoStyle Pizza Deepdish pizza.


Chicagoland The area including Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.


City Council Chicago’s version of local government. The City Council is represented by fifty alderman and is governed by the Mayor.


City of Big Shoulders Chicago.


COD The College of DuPage. Located in the suburb of Glen Ellyn, it is the largest singlecampus community college in the nation.


Columbian Exposition The Columbian Exposition is universally known as a hallmark of the city’s crowning achievements and firmly cemented Chicago as one of the finest cities in the world.

Opening on May 1, 1893, the exposition commemorated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America.

630 acres of Jackson Park were transformed from what was little more than a stagnating swamp into an extravagant “White City” of classic fountains, statues, and buildings.

Created under the general supervision of Daniel H. Burnham, the Columbian Exposition gained Chicago and its inhabitants worldwide recognition and greatly enhanced what was already a booming population. The exposition ran for six months and attracted 27,539,000 visitors, nearly half of the population of the United States at that time.


Congress Expressway The original name of Highway I290, or Eisenhower (“Ike”) Expressway.


Cooler by The Lake A description for the phenomenon known as “lake effect.” Lake Michigan is so enormous that it affects the weather, forcing temperatures near it to be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, relative to western suburbs.


Council Wars The product of strife and hostility within the Chicago City Council.


CowTipping The pushingover of a sleeping cow (cows sleep standing up). Because of their massive size and weight, the cow is usually seriously damaged if not killed. Anything for a drunken highschool laugh.


Crain’s Crain’s Chicago Business, a business trade newspaper printed weekly.


Crosstown Classic A baseball game between the Chicago Cubs on the north side and the Chicago White Sox on the south side.


CSO 1) Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 2) ‘combined sewer overflow.’


Cubbies The Chicago Cubs, Chicago’s National League baseball team.


Da The. “The” was replaced with “Da” in a popular Saturday Night Live sketch. Sadly (annoyingly), “Da” has found its way into every facet of Chicago (ie, Da Bulls, Da Coach, Da Blackhawks, etc.)


Da Bears The Chicago Bears, Chicago’s NFL football team.


Dah Hocks The Blackhawks, Chicago’s NHL hockey team.


Dan Ryan The stretch of I90/94 running from the Loop south until 90 and 94 split.


Dawg Hotdog.


Deep Tunnel The name given to 109 miles of tunnel bored underneath the city, the purpose of which was to provide space for runoff water during and after particularly heavy rainstorms, averting flooding. The Mainstream tunnel is 35 feet in diameter, bored in limestone rock 240 to 350 feet below ground, and holds one billion gallons of water. It is one of the largest rock tunnel bores on record.


Dells, The The Wisconsin Dells, a popular resort town built primarily around water parks in western Wisconsin.


Demon Dogs The hot dog shop directly beneath the Red Line Fullerton El stop, on the DePaul University campus.


DePaul 1) DePaul University, 2) the neighborhood surrounding DePaul University, generally thought of as the area from Halsted Street west to Ashland Avenue and north from Armitage Avenue to Diversey Parkway.


Disco Demolition A 1979 publicity stunt at Comiskey Park hosted by local talk DJ Steve Dahl. He blew up disco records, officially ending the disco era.


Dog Beach A sandy spit in Belmont Harbor where dog owners go to let their pets swim and frolic amongst one another.


Double Nickel, The Highway I55, or the Stevenson Expressway.


Downstate Any point in Illinois located south of Greater Chicagoland.


Downtown The area of Chicago consisting of the Loop and the Magnificent Mile. Often erroneously used as a term for any area within the Chicago City Limits.


Drive, The Lake Shore Drive.


Eastland, The The Eastland was a Lake Michigan passengersteamer. On July 24, 1915 she cast off from the Chicago River Dock at the Clark Street Bridge with 2,572 passengers on board. The ship immediately listed away from the dock, righted itself momentarily, and slowly rolled over on her side to settle on the river bottom. Many of the passengers (all Western Electric Company employees and their families) were able to jump from the Eastland and escape drowning, but 844 others weren’t so lucky. These unfortunate sightseers perished in or under the steamer before rescuers could reach them. This massive loss of life makes the sinking of the Eastland by far the worst disaster in the city’s history.


Eisenhower (‘Ike’), The The I290 Expressway, straight west of the Loop. The Eisenhower is universally known as having the worst traffic in Chicagoland.


EIU Eastern Illinois University, located in Charleston, Illinois, three hours south of Chicago and two hours east of St. Louis.


El, The The elevated sections of Chicago’s public transit train system. The El was built in sections over a long period of time. The oldest section (now part of the Green Line between Harrison and Pershing) opened in 1892. The most recent, the Midway Line, opened in 1993.


Emerald City Lower Wacker Drive. It earned this name for the green glow given by its lights. Lower Wacker Drive is the largest underground thoroughfare beneath a major city.


F.I.B. F*cking Illinois Bastard.’ The subtle name given to Illinois residents, used primarily by Wisconsin residents.


Field’s Marshall Fields, Chicago’s mostprominent department store.


Fire, The 1) the Great Chicago Fire that destroyed Chicago on October 8, 1871, 2) Chicago’s major league soccer team.


Flat Another name for an apartment, taken from the Great Britain vernacular. Most often used to describe smaller apartment buildings. A popular Chicago apartment building is the “3 flat.”


Friendly Confines, The Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. The Friendly Confines is located at the corner of Clark and Addison in East Lakeview.


Gangway The narrow sidewalk or alley often found between houses and apartment buildings.


Gaper’s Delay Slowed traffic due to gapers.


Gapers Commuters intent on slowing down to stare as they pass an accident, police car, fire truck, or even simply a car on the side of the road. Gapers are idiots and universally hated.


Gold Coast The neighborhood located north from Chicago Avenue to North Avenue and east from the Lakefront to LaSalle Street. The Gold Coast is one of the oldest areas in Chicago and is the city’s wealthiest. It dates back to 1882 when Potter Palmer (a civic leader) bought land covered by little more than frog ponds on what would later become north Lake Shore Drive.


Goose Island 1 ) the name of the only island in the Chicago city limits, in the north branch of the Chicago River, it was once mined for clay to be used for brick 2) a thriving industrial district from its creation in the 1860s until the late 1970s and early 1980s, located on the nearnorth side of Chicago 3) a popular Chicago microbrewery in the former Goose Island neighborhood.


Great America And enormous amusement park north of Chicago near the Wisconsin border in Gurnee, Illinois. Six Flags Great America boasts 11 worldclass roller coasters and over 40 other rides, shows, and attractions, making it commonly known as one of the Midwest’s finer theme parks.


Great Lakes 1) The five lakes consisting of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, and Michigan 2) the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois; located north of the Chicago in Waukegan, Illinois.


Guys A replacement for the plural “you.” Example: “Are you guys going to get some cheese fries?” It is used when referring to men, women, or any combination thereof; often preceded by “yous.”


Hancock, The The John Hancock Center (also known as “Big John”). Currently the thirdtallest building in Chicago, The Hancock is located at 925 N. Michigan Avenue. It was the second tallest building in the world when completed, merely 123 feet shorter than the famed Empire State Building. It boasts 100 stories and is over a quarter of a mile tall at the tip of its twin antennae.


Hawks, The The Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago’s NHL hockey team.


Haymarket Martyrs The Haymarket Martyrs were a group of German anarchists sentenced to die in 1887. They were accused of planting a bomb (though the true culprit was never found) that killed a policeman at a Michigan Avenue rally for the eighthour workday. In the confusion, the police opened fire into the darkness. Several more policemen were eventually killed, probably from their own fire. Though several of the anarchists weren’t at the rally of 80,000 marchers, seven were convicted and sentenced to hang. The Haymarket Martyrs were pardoned by Governor John Peter Altgeld, but not before four had already been hung and one had apparently committed suicide. This incident is celebrated around the world, as May Day in the United States, and Labor Day everywhere else.


Heat Index The feeling of how hot it is outdoors, relative to the actual temperature. Humidity will cause a hot day to seem much, much hotter than it actually is. The more humid, the more discomfort. Hence the expression, ‘It was hot, but it was a dry heat…’ Chicago does not experience dry heat. Humidity will also make a cold day seem much colder than it actually is, even without wind.


Hey, Hey! The trademark phrase used by Chicago Cubs announcer Jack Brickhouse whenever a Cub player hit a home run.


Hillside Strangler An awful stretch of highway in west suburban Hillside known for its congestion, the Hillside Strangler merges the Eisenhower Expressway, TriState Tollway, and Roosevelt Road into one lane under a bridge.


Holy Cow! The trademark phrase used by Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray whenever a Cub player hit a home run.


How Air You? Chicago greeting.


Hyde Park A lovely southside neighborhood that stands out as the shining star in what has sadly become dilapidated surroundings. Hyde Park is the home of the University of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Rockefeller Chapel, Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Robie House’, and the first nuclear chain reaction.


IDOT An acronym for the Illinois Department of Transportation.


IIT The Illinois Institute of Technology.


Illinois State Circus The Illinois State Government.


Inner Drive Sheriden Road, which runs just along the inside of Lake Shore Drive.


IPASS An electronic device placed in one’s car, allowing one to proceed through toll booths without stopping to pay in change. Pronounced ‘eyepass.’


Iron Mike Mike Ditka, former coach of the Chicago Bears.


ISU Illinois State University.


Italian Beef A popular Chicago sandwich consisting of sliced beef soaked in au jus and piled on a bun of french bread, with green peppers.


Jay’s A potatochip company located in Chicago.


Jeweler’s Row A concentration of jewelry stores along South Wabash Avenue, in the Loop.


Junction, The The point at which the Northwest Tollway (I90) and the Edens Expressway (I94) converge and create the Kennedy Expressway, just north of Irving Park Road.


Kennedy, The The stretch of I90/94 north of the Loop and south of the Junction.


L, The The ‘L’ is a term for the elevated sections of Chicago’s public transit train system. They were built in sections over quite a long period of time. The oldest section of the L (now part of the Green Line between Harrison and Pershing) opened in 1892. The most recent, the Midway Line, opened in 1993.


Lake Effect Snow “Lake Effect” snow is snowfall caused by the heat retained in Lake Michigan after the land adjacent to it has cooled off. Winds blowing over the warmer water collect moisture and dump it as condensed snow when they eventually blow back over colder land. Consequently, areas near the Lake get more snow (and rain) than those inland.


Lake, The Lake Michigan. Also known as ‘The Big Lake.’


Lakeview Lakeview is found between Diversey Street and Irving Park Road, and west from the lakefront to Ashland Avenue. The Clark, Belmont and Broadway shopping districts contain a wide variety of stores that accommodate all needs. The restaurants and bars cater to all tastes and are plentiful. East Lakeview includes the neighborhood known as “Boystown.” This is Chicago’s gay district, and the alternative lifestyle is strongly embraced by the area’s inhabitants and businesses. Over the past few years, this area has become the refuge of Lincoln Park expatriates who fled the congestion and high prices that plague Lincoln Park.


Land of Lincoln, The A popular motto for Illinois. References to President Abraham Lincoln can be found in every facet of Chicago.


Lighthouse, The Of the several lighthouses along the Chicagoland shoreline, ‘The Lighthouse’ usually refers to the Grosse Point Light in Evanston. Established in 1873 and deactivated in 1935, Grosse Point Light is registered in the Inventory of Historic Light Stations.


Lincoln Park Located east from the lakefront to Halsted Street and north from North Avenue to Diversey Parkway and named for the city’s largest park, Lincoln Park has a lot to offer. The park itself boasts an excellent zoo (the oldest in the country, and still free to the public), botanical conservatory, and four of the city’s beaches. Besides seemingly countless bars frequented by young, upwardlymobile professionals and DePaul University students, Lincoln Park provides trendy boutiques, coffee shops, many restaurants, and SUV dealerships.


Lincoln Park Pirates ‘Licoln Park Pirates’ is the name earned by Lincoln Towing, a Tow Truck Company. They’ll tow your car from what may or may not be an illegal spot, and you pay well over $150 to get it back. Contesting court costs are a minimum of $200, whether you win or not. It is widely suggested that the Lincoln Park Pirates are in cahoots with Chicago’s Finest. The term was originally coined in a song by Steve Goodman:

The streetlamps are on in Chicago tonight,
And lovers a’gazin’ at stars;
The stores are all closin’, and Daley is dozin’,
And the fat man is counting the cars…
And there’s more cars than places to put ’em, he says,
But I’ve got room for them all;
So ’round ’em up boys, ’cause I want some more toys,
In the lot by the grocery store…

To me, way, hey, tow them away,
The Lincoln Park Pirates are we,
From Wilmette to Gary, there’s nothin’ so hairy
And we always collect our fee!
So it’s way, hey, tow ’em away,
We plunder the streets of your town,
Be it Edsel or Chevy, there’s no car too heavy,
And no one can make us shut down.

We break into cars when we gotta,
With hammer and pickaxe and saw;
And they said this garage had no license;
But little care I for the law!
Our drivers are friendly and courteous;
Their good manners you always will get;
‘Cause they all are recent graduates
Of the charm school in Joliet.

And when all the cars are collected,
And all of their fenders are ruined,
Then I’ll tow all the boats in Belmont Harbor
To the Lincoln Park Lagoon;
And when I’ve collected the ransom,
And sunk all the ones that won’t yield;
I’ll tow all the planes that are blocking the runways
At Midway, O’Hare, and Meigs Field!


Loop, The The Loop is Chicago’s downtown business are, so named because it is found within an oval loop made by the El.


Lower Wacker Lower Wacker Drive was one of the first streets to allow intermodal freight transfer, serving as a dock for boats that would unload cargo to waiting trucks.


Loyola 1) Loyola University, in a northern neighborhood called Uptown 2) Loyola Academy, a private high school in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago.


LSD Lake Shore Drive.


Mag Mile, The The Magnificent Mile.


Magnificent Mile, The The ‘Magnificent Mile’ is the stretch of Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River (Wacker Drive) north to Oak Street. It is known for being lined with shops, boutiques, stores, and restaurants suited for everyone.


Mart, The The Mart’ is another term for the Merchandise Mart. Built in 1931 by Marshall Field & Co., Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world in floor area (4 million square feet) until the Pentagon was built in Washington D.C. Originally notable as a market of furniture and furnishings maintained by manufacturers for buyers from all over the world, Merchandise Mart is now home to showrooms of all types, as well as retail shops on the first level. The Mart also houses a large El stop for the Purple, Brown, and Red Lines. It is located on Wells Street at the Chicago River.


Maxwell Street Maxwell Street, on the near west side, was the home of the Maxwell Street Market, a famous outdoor bazaar. The Maxwell Street Market was officially established by the City of Chicago in 1912, and was closed down in 1994. It provided a convenient, inexpensive shopping venue for thousands of Chicago residents. Nearly everything under the sun could be found there when the market was under way.


Merc, The The Chicago Mercantile Exchange.


Metra The Chicago Railway System running outside the city to and from the suburbs.


Midway Chicago’s secondlargest city, located off of I55 on Western Avenue, the south side.


MJ Michael Jordan.


Money God An ATM machine, or cash station.


Monsters of the Midway A term for the Chicago Bears football team, earned when they were known for an unstoppable defense, longsince gone.


Montrose Beach A popular beach located on the north side of the city, where Montrose Avenue meets the Lake.


Mr. Cub A nickname for Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs baseball legend.


Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow The legendary cow thought to be responsible for the Great Chicago Fire. On October 8, 1871, a cow (one of five dairy cows) in the barn at the O’Leary cottage on the west side of the city is thought to have accidently kicked over a lantern, starting the blaze that would burn for days and leave 90,000 Chicagoans homeless.


My Kind of Town A popular Frank Sinatra song about Chicago.


New Town An old nickname for the Lakeview neighborhood. The name originated when in 1865, when Lakeview was officially made a town by an act of the Illinois General Assembly, and in 1887 the town of Lakeview was granted a city charter dividing it into seven wards. Two years later area had grown so greatly that (after a bitter fight) the Chicago City Council annexed it.


Night Game Parking The area surrounding Wrigley Field is notorious throughout the city for its lack of parking, at any time of the year. The problem is compounded during Cubs games, especially night games, when the few parking spots available are delegated to those lucky few with a permit. On those nights, ‘Night Game Parking’ signs are seen thoughout Wrigleyville.


NIU Northern Illinois University.


North Shore, The The affluent northern suburbs of Chicago, along the Lake.


Northside, The The Northside’ is the northside of the city, generally thought of as full of young professionals. It is diametrically opposed to the Southside.


O’Hare O’Hare International Airport, northwest of Chicago. It is the largest airport in the city and one of the busiest in the country.


Oak Street Beach A popular downtown beach located where Oak Street meets the Lake.


Orchard Place Orchard Place was the original name of O’Hare International Airport. It is the reason why O’Hare’s code is still ORD.


Pack, The The Green Bay Packers.


Pal Eye Nah Paulina Street


Pershing Road A Chicago street located on the southside, once known for its affiliation with the Chicago Board of Education, which was located there.


Picasso, The In 1963 William Hartmann, a Chicago architect, approached the famous artist Pablo Picasso with an invitation to create a model for a sculpture that was to be erected in the city’s Civic Center (Daley Plaza). On August 15, 1967, ‘The Picasso” was unveiled. The 50 foothigh sculpture weighed 162 tons and was constructed from a 42inch model created by Picasso himself.


Polish A term for the popular Chicago delicacy, the polish sausage.


Polish Broadway The stretch of Milwaukee Avenue between Diversey & Belmont.


Pop The term for a softdrink. ‘Soda’ is unacceptable.


Pudge Carlton Fisk, the former Chicago White Sox great.


Pulaski Day, (Casmir) A Chicago holiday in early March to celebrate Casmir Pulaski, a polish general and war hero of the Revolutionary War. Chicago has a large population of persons of Polish descent.


Punkin’ Doughnuts A term for the Dunkin Doughnuts located at the corner of Clark and Belmont in Lakeview. This neighborhood is frequented by ‘punks’; colorful individuals with any array of tattoos, piercings, and suburban parents.


Ramblers, The The mascot of Loyola University.


Ravinia A outdoor venue in north suburban Deerfield, Ravinia is very popular for for its outstanding concerts. Everything from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to Tony Bennet to Lyle Lovett can be seen there, and picnicing is encouraged.


Reader, The A free newspaper distributed weekly, The Reader is a fantastic source for the events of the week, apartment vacancies, concerts, movies, etc.


Riv, The The Riviera Theater, a popular concert venue located near the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Broadway in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.


River North Until the late 1970’s, River North was a haven for warehouses. Today, River North is a wellestablished art district that caters to the gallery hopper and tourist alike. Located east from Michigan Avenue to the Chicago River and north from Kinzie to Chicago Avenue, River North is home to ‘arty’ graphic design, photography, video production, and publishing businesses as well as Planet Hollywood, the Rock n’ Roll McDonalds, Ed Debevic’s, and the Hard Rock Café.


Rocks, The The stretch of shoreline and park immediately south of Belmont Harbor to Diversey Harbor. ‘The Rocks’ is known for the broken granite and concrete along the water (to hold back erosion), as well as the members of the gay community that frequent them.


Rush & Division A corner in the Gold Coast known for its latenight bars. Rush & Division is very popular among tourists and suburbanites.


Ryno A nickname for Chicago Cubs great Ryne Sandberg.


SCurve The ‘S’shaped curve in Lakeshore Drive at the northern end of Michigan Avenue.


Sassages A favorite tailgating delicacy.


Seven Oh Ate A derogatory term for suburbanites, based on a suburban area code.


SIU Southern Illinois University, located in Carbondale, Illinois.


Sliders The small, steamed hamburgers provided by White Castle.


Smelt A small fish the spawns by the millions every Fall. Fishermen ‘dip’ for smelt; they are so abundant during their spawning season that they’re caught simply by dipping a net into the water.
Smelt dipping, and the resulting smelt fries, are akin to deer hunting season in Fall entertainment among midwestern men.


Southside, The Known as the south side of the city. It is generalized as consisting of povertystricken and old Irish neighborhoods. The Southside is diametrically opposed to the Northside.


Sox Park Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox.


Stateville A large prison located in Joliet, southwest of Chicago.


Stevenson, The The I55 expressway; also referred to as the ‘Double nickel.’


Stoney 1) Stoney Island Drive, a northsouth thoroughfare on Chicago’s south side (a good shortcut to and from I90) 2) Steve Stone, former announcer for the Chicago Cubs.


Streeterville “Streeterville” can be found east from the Lakefront to Michigan Avenue and south from Illinois Street to eastbound Lake Shore Drive.

This affluent neighborhood got its start in 1886; it was then that this land was literally created by Captain George Wellington Streeter. Captain Streeter was an adventurer who had outfitted a boat for gunrunning in the south, and eventually run it aground in Lake Michigan on a sand bar, near what is now Superior Street. He stayed on the boat where it was beached and convinced city contractors to dump hard fill (and anything else they could get their hands on) in the area surrounding his boat.

Captain Streeter laid claim to the 186acre tract that he’d managed to create and called it the ‘Free District of Lake Michigan,’ an independent territory. He sold lots and survived skirmishes with the police until 1918, when he was finally evicted.

A far cry from its humble beginnings, the housing in Streeterville now consists mainly of highrise condominiums. It is home to the Art Institute of Chicago, Grant Park, the Museum Campus, and is but a stone’s throw from Northwestern University’s hospital campus, the Loyola Law School, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, and the Loop.


Streets n’ San Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.


Streetwise Steetwise’ is the name of a newspaper sold by Chicago’s homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. It was founded to meet a vitally important area of need among the homeless of Chicago. The vast majority of Steetwise vendors are courteous and friendly and are great people to get to know. And, it only costs a buck.


Sun Delay A ‘sun delay’ is slowed traffic due to a bright morning sun. Sun delays are usually the worst on the inbound Ike and Stevenson expressways.


Sweetness The nickname for the late, great Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton.


Swift, The Short for the ‘Skokie Swift,’ the northernmost stretch of the CTA. It begins at the final stop of the Red Line (Howard Street) and travels north to Skokie.


Taste The shortened term for Chicago’s ‘Taste of Chicago’ food festival. Seemingly uncountable numbers of vendors crowd into Grant Park. Representatives from every grade, type, and style of restaurant are present, as well as millions of patrons. Unfortunately, the Taste seems to consistently fall on one of the hottest weekends of the year.


The Edens I94 north after it splits east from I90 at The Junction at Irving Park Road.


The River The Chicago River. Once a choleraridden sewage pit, the bold engineering decision was made to reverse its flow. To do this, a 28mile canal was built from the south branch of the river through the low summit and down to Lockport. It was completed in 1900.


The World The New World Theater’, now ‘The Tweeter Center’, is an enormous concert venue in suburban Tinley Park.


The Yike The Eisenhower Expressway, or 290.


Times, The A term of the Chicago SunTimes, the more liberal of the two major Chicago newspapers.


Top of the Cock The top of the John Hancock building, home of the ‘Signature Room,’ a restaurant and bar with one of the best views in the city.


Tree Four minus one.


Trib, The The short term for the Chicago Tribune, the more conservative of Chicago’s two major newspapers.


Two Jerrys, The Jerry’ is the first name of both the Chicago Bulls manager Jerry Krause and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.


U of C, The The University of Chicago. This university, located on the south side in Hyde Park, is one of the finest in the country.


UC, The The United Center, home of both the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks. The United Center is located straight west of the Loop.


UIC The University of Illinois in Chicago, located west of the Loop just off the Eisenhower Expressway.


Valpo A nickname for Valparaiso University in nearby northwest Indiana.


Vote early and vote often Vote early and vote often!’ was a quote of Al Capone’s, the famous Chicago gangster known for (among other things) rigging elections for local Chicago officials.


Wacker Drive A street running in all directions (north, south, east and west), Wacker Drive was designed to be a distributive artery for seven major north/south streets and nine east/west streets. On the lower level, it provided a highway for heavy traffic without the interruption of intersecting streets. Wacker Drive combined both advanced architectural and engineering design, to not only beautify the waterfront but also offer a twolevel thoroughfare to facilitate traffic flow. Lower Wacker Drive was one of the first streets to allow intermodal freight transfer, serving as a dock for boats that would unload cargo to waiting trucks.


Water Tower 1) the historic Water Tower, known for being the only building standing after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, 2) Water Tower Place, a mall of upscale stores just north of the actual Water Tower, on the Magnificent Mile.


Wedding Cake, The The ‘Wedding Cake’ is a nickname for Chicago’s famous Wrigley Building. Located on Michigan Avenue on the north bank of the Chicago River, the Wrigley Building consists of two sections that are connected by an open arcaded walkway at street level and enclosed walkways between the third and 14th floors.

Because of the structure’s unique architectural design, the two sections assure all who work in the Wrigley Building the advantage of an unusually large amount of natural light.

The architectural shape of the Wrigley Building is patterned after the Seville Cathedral’s Giralda Tower in Spain. However, the ornamental design of the building is based on an American adaptation of French Renaissance style.


Wicker Park Wicker Park is a fun, attractive area located between Division and North avenues, from the Kennedy Expressway (90/94) to Western Avenue. Historic Wicker Park stands out as an area of attractive threeflats and old 1800 mansions, including those of Beer Baron Row (Hoyne Street between Pierce and Schiller). This area is now inhabited by one of the largest populations of working artists in any major city in the country. Its offbeat restaurants, bars, galleries, street musicians, and boutiques contribute to the amiability and familiarity reminiscent of a real, familiar neighborhood.


Wiener Circle A wellknown Lincoln Park hotdog stand, the Wiener Circle’s employees are known for their gruffness and impatience. Its best to know exactly what you want before getting in line.


Windchill Factor The actual feeling of the temperature on a cold day with wind blowing. Due to the skin’s evaporation process, wind can make a cold day seem much, much colder. It is a Chicago winter’s equvalent to the Heat Index of summer.


Windy City, The The Windy City’ is possibly the bestknown nickname for Chicago. Chicago gained it during the race to gain the honor of hosting the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Competition between potential cities was heated, so much that Chicago was christened “The Windy City” by Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun.


WIU Western Illinois University, located in Macomb, Illinois.


Wolves, The The Chicago Wolves, Chicago’s outstanding IHL Hockey team. The Wolves have their home in Rosemont, IL, a northwestern suburb.


Woodfield A truly gigantic structure, the Woodfield Mall is located in Schaumburg, a northern suburb.


Wrigleyville As the name suggests, “Wrigleyville” is the area immediately surrounding Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. This neighborhood’s understood boundaries are Addison Avenue along the south, Irving Park Road to the north, and west from the lakefront to Ashland Avenue. Wrigleyville is the home of countless bars and shops, pleasing everyone from postgame nightcappers to modernday punks.