How Well Do You Know Chicago Slang?

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Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Chicago is known for its gangsters of the past and deep dish pizza, but there's a lot more to the Windy City. Test your Chicago Slang IQ with this HowStuffWorks quiz!

If a Chicagoan's "got a guy" they have:

Whether your car needs to be fixed or you are looking for a tutor, if you bring it up to any Chicagoan it's almost guaranteed they will "have a guy." And if they don't "got a guy," then they "got a guy" who's "got a guy."

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If you are in a frunchroom, where are you?

A "frunchroom" refers to a living room or similar space used for entertaining, often near the entryway of a home. This is why it sounds a lot like "front" and "room" smushed together.

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In Chicago, they drink:

Soda is called different things in different parts of America. In Chicago, you better ask for pop.

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How do many Chicagoans pronounce "the"?

In Chicago, you don't go to the store. You go to DA store.

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Which lake do Chicagoans refer to as The Lake?

Chicago stretches along 22 miles of Lake Michigan's coastline. It covers a number of important Chicago neighborhoods and areas and is where many people in the city go to spend a day on the beach.

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What is The Taste?

The Taste refers to Taste of Chicago. This iconic food festival takes place every July in the Windy City.

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What is The Bean?

A sculpture called Cloud Gate sits in Chicago's Millennium Park. Locals call it The Bean because it resembles a giant chrome bean.

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What does "The L" refer to in Chicago?

The elevated train running above Chicago's streets is known as "The L." Chicago has one of the best public transportation systems in America.

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"To dip" means:

Announcing that you are going "to dip" is a very Chicago way of letting people know you are leaving. Someone might say, "This movie sucks. Let's dip."

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How do Chicagoans refer to expressways?

While most would just call Interstate 55 by its numbers, Chicagoans call it the Stevenson. Chicago has many expressways and there are nicknames for a lot of them.

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What does Field's refer to?

Originally there was a Chicago-born department store chain called Field's, which was acquired by Macy's. Even though all of those old stores are Macy's now, some Chicagoans still refer to them as Field's.

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If a Chicagoan describes someone as a Grabowski, they are calling them:

This Chicago-slang term refers to rough and hard-working blue-collar types, specifically first generation Polish Americans. It was made popular by Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka.

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In Chicago, LSD refers to a:

In Chicago, you might hear locals say they drove down LSD. LSD, of course, refers to Lake Shore Drive.

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When a local tells you they've had "a couple, two, three" beers, how many have they had?

This is a very Chicago way to count to exactly a few. In the famous Chicago accent, it sounds a lot more like "a cuppa too tree."

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In Chicago, the bathroom is called the:

Whether Chicagoans need to use the facilities or just freshen up, you will rarely hear them ask where the bathroom is. It's always washroom.

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How might Chicagoans talk to a group of people?

Throughout America, there are a number of different ways that somebody can address multiple people at once. In Chicago, it's "Yous," which is pronounced like "Use."

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What are sandwiches called in Chicago?

Chicagoans loves their sammiches, especially Italian beef sammiches. This is the most iconic of the city's many delicious sammiches.

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What is a "Grachki"?

This slang word is an excellent example of how Chicago slang involves a lot of phrases that are a few combined words smushed together. You'll need your grachki to open the garage.

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Locals refer to Chicago as the _________ city.

This nickname for Chicago dates back to when it was the second largest city in the country after New York City. It's more widely known as the Windy City.

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When in Chicago, what do you go to Jewels to buy?

Jewels refers to Jewel Osco. This is a grocery store found throughout Chicago.

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What is The Drake?

The Drake hotel is Chicago's most iconic hotel. It's a high-class luxury hotel.

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If a woman is a "Trixie," she's:

Americans around the country mock young professionals who live fashionable lifestyles by calling them yuppies. In Chicago it's broken down even further, and female yuppies are often referred to as Trixie.

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"The Loop" refers to:

Locals will often refer to Downtown Chicago as "The Loop." This is because The L makes a loop around it.

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"Woo Wap Da Bam" means ___________.

Chicagoans use this to signify that someone is talking a lot of nothing or as a general filler. It can be found in the song "Ultralight Beam" by Chance the Rapper.

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Does ketchup go on a Chicago-style hot dog?

A Chicago-style hot dog is defined as an all-beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun. It is topped with chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato, pickled sport peppers, celery salt and yellow mustard. Don't ask for ketchup on one.

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What do Chicagoans call athletic shoes?

Across America, athletic shoes are called a number of things. In Chicago, it's gym shoes.

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Locals call the Willis Tower:

While this famous tower became Willis Tower after a lease change in 2009, it was originally called Sears Tower. To Chicagoans, it will always be Sears Tower.

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If someone gets "oke doked" what did they get?

Someone who has been "oke doked" has been tricked. Many a tourist has been oke doked in the Windy City over the years.

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Do Chicagoans use street designations?

You will rarely hear a Chicagoan refer to any road as a street, avenue, or drive. For example, Sherwin Avenue is just called Sherwin.

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If someone from Chicago tells you there are going "down by" a place they mean they are going:

A Chicagoan might say, "I'm going down by the drug store, need anything?" They might also say "over by."

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Someone who "got cobbs" at the dinner table has got:

When the food is so good that you have to back for seconds, that's when you've got cobbs. This is old Chicago slang.

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Do Chicagoans shop at Nordstrom or Nordstroms?

The pluralization of stores is something you'll find in the Midwest, and Chicago is no exception. They might tell you they are going to Nordstroms, for example.

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Old school Chicago kids used to play in the "prairie," which was actually:

Kids used to gather to play sports in their neighborhood's empty lot. This was called the prairie.

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If a man is a "Chad," he's a:

Young working professionals in richer parts of the city are often referred to as Trixie and Chad. This is especially true if they are a couple.

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"Squares" is old school Chicago slang for:

This is an old-school term for cigarettes that is still sticking around. Someone might purchase a pack of squares.

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