by John F. Swenson; adapted from “Chicagoua/Chicago: The Origin, Meaning, and Etymology of a place name”; Illinois Historic Journal 84, winter 1991. The name Chicago is derived from the local Indian word chicagoua for the native garlic plant (not onion) Allium tricoccum.
Hereof, where did the name Chicago come from?
The name “Chicago” is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum, from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as “Checagou” was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir.
Where did Chicago get its nickname?
Travelers to Chicago may experience the wind gusts that come off Lake Michigan, get tossed around a bit and think, “So this is why it’s called the Windy City.” The nickname, which dates back to the late 1870s, is deceiving: Chicago is literally a windy city, but that’s not what the phrase was intended to reference.