Dear Tom,
Where did Chicago’s nickname, “The Windy City,” come from? I have always wondered about that.
John Gettinger, Oak Lawn

Dear John,
Indeed, Chicago is a rather windy city, but it certainly isn’t the windiest. With an average wind speed of about 10.3 mph, Chicago ranks 12th windiest among the nation’s major cities. Boston, with an average wind speed of 12.4 mph, is the windiest.

A likely source of the nickname is political. Political conventions were frequently held in Chicago in the late 1800’s and long-winded politicians were often described as “windy.”

Rivalry with Cincinnati is also a possible source of the nickname. Chicago surpassed Cincinnati in meatpacking in the 1860s. The Cincinnati press and the Chicago Tribune first used the “Windy City” term in 1876.