Chicago's neighborhood names are far more pastoral than befits this hard, gritty city. Roseland, Englewood, Forest Glen, Edgebrook — they draw from nature to describe places where little nature remains. A few even live up to their billing: Edgewater is at the edge of the water, you can see the lake from Lake View, and a river — the Calumet — runs through Riverdale.
Elsewhere, our neighborhoods reference parks (Portage, Rogers, Albany, McKinley) or commercial squares (Logan, Lincoln, Noble). In fact, if you look at a list of Chicago neighborhood names, you see patterns: the name of a historical figure matched with a geographic feature (Washington Heights) or a pair of natural features mashed together (Woodlawn).
There are so many combinations that we decided to build a random Chicago neighborhood name generator. (We tip our cap to Dean Dunakin’s Chicago Suburb Name Generator, and hope this complements it.) Click on the button below, and you’ll see one of about 8,000 neighborhoods that sounds really familiar, but that you can’t find on a map.