How can you tell someone is from Chicago?

How can you tell someone is from Chicago?


When it comes to identifying where someone is from, certain cities have distinct qualities that make their residents stand out. Chicago, known as the “Windy City,” is no exception. With its rich history, diverse culture, and unique traditions, there are several ways to tell if someone is from Chicago. From their accent to their love for deep-dish pizza, let’s explore the traits and characteristics that define a true Chicagoan.

Table of Contents

  • The Chicago Accent
  • Pride in Sports Teams
  • Love for Deep-Dish Pizza
  • Embracing All Four Seasons
  • Midwestern Hospitality
  • The Chicago Handshake
  • Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
  • Conclusion

The Chicago Accent

One of the most recognizable traits of someone from Chicago is their distinctive accent. The Chicago accent has its roots in the city’s history of immigration, with influences from Eastern European and Irish dialects. This accent is characterized by features such as the pronunciation of “th” as “d,” resulting in phrases like “da Bears” instead of “the Bears.” Additionally, Chicagoans often elongate certain vowel sounds, such as “a” in words like “Chicago” and “hot dog.”

Pride in Sports Teams

Another telltale sign of a true Chicagoan is their unwavering pride in the city’s sports teams. Whether it’s the Chicago Cubs in baseball, the Chicago Bulls in basketball, or the Chicago Bears in football, residents of Chicago are passionate supporters of their local teams. You’ll often find them donning team jerseys, attending games at iconic venues like Wrigley Field or the United Center, and engaging in spirited debates about their team’s performance.

Love for Deep-Dish Pizza

No discussion about Chicago would be complete without mentioning its famous deep-dish pizza. A true Chicagoan has a deep appreciation for this thick, cheesy, and indulgent culinary delight. They know that the crust should be buttery and flaky, the cheese should be gooey and stretchy, and the sauce should be chunky and flavorful. Whether it’s from iconic pizzerias like Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s, Chicagoans take their deep-dish pizza seriously and believe it’s the best in the world.

Embracing All Four Seasons

Living in Chicago means experiencing all four seasons to the fullest. From hot summers to freezing winters, Chicagoans are resilient and adaptable when it comes to weather. They know how to make the most of each season, whether it’s enjoying outdoor activities in the summer, admiring the vibrant fall foliage, embracing the winter snow by ice skating in Millennium Park, or eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring.

Midwestern Hospitality

Chicagoans are known for their warm and welcoming nature, embodying the spirit of Midwestern hospitality. They are friendly, polite, and always willing to lend a helping hand. Whether it’s giving directions to lost tourists or striking up a conversation with a stranger at a neighborhood bar, Chicagoans take pride in their reputation for being kind-hearted and approachable.

The Chicago Handshake

One unique aspect of Chicago culture is the “Chicago handshake.” This term refers to the custom of greeting someone by extending your hand for a handshake while simultaneously raising your other hand to make a fist. It’s a symbol of camaraderie and solidarity, often used among friends and acquaintances in social settings. The Chicago handshake is a subtle but significant gesture that reflects the city’s strong sense of community.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Chicago is home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States. Each year, the city turns the Chicago River green, and residents come together to participate in parades, wear green attire, and enjoy traditional Irish food and drinks. If someone enthusiastically embraces St. Patrick’s Day and all its festivities, there’s a good chance they are from Chicago.


From their distinct accent to their love for deep-dish pizza and sports teams, there are several ways to tell if someone is from Chicago. These traits and characteristics contribute to the vibrant and unique culture of the city. So, the next time you meet someone with a slight “Chicago twang” or spot them passionately cheering for their favorite team, you’ll know they have the unmistakable traits of a true Chicagoan.

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