Sunday, April 8, 2012

How to Name a Chicago Suburb

With my frequent visits to Chicagoland recently, I've become familiar with much of the area. And one thing I've learned is that many Chicago suburbs have really stupid names. They are so nondescript and generic, it makes it really hard to keep them straight. They appear to be a combination of random nature-y words.

Some examples: Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Northbrook, Northlake, Northfield, Forest Park, Park Forest, Park Ridge, Lake Forest, Riverwoods, Riverside, Brookfield, Homewood, Glenwood, Crestwood, Elmwood Park, Wood Dale, Streamwood, River Dale, and Woodridge. I swear I'm not making any of these up, and there are countless others.

Don't confuse Forest Park with Park Forest. One's a forest that's a park, the other's a park that's a forest. Duh!


With this in mind, I've devised a simple formula for naming your very own Chicago suburb.

Choose one word from List A:

Oak, Lake, Brook, Forest, Park, River, Home, Crest, Elm, Glen, Villa, Crest, Wood, North, South, East, West

...and one word from List B:

brook, woods, grove, glen, field, view, park, ridge, springs, forest, hills, lawn, dale, port, -worth, -hurst, -burg, -mont, -ton, -ville

...and combine them.

There's your name! You can even use your creative juices to decide if your new suburb is two words (Elm Field) or one (Elmfield)*. Go nuts!

*except for words in List B that start with a dash (-). They can only be one word. :(


For advanced naming, you could also add a word from the bonus List C:

Village, Heights, Terrace, Meadows, Park

Using this formula, I've created such gems as:

Home Hills Heights
Woodwoods Meadows
Forest Lawn Village
Brookburg Terrace
Homemont Park

You're welcome, developers!


Jolene said...

LOL! Love this...especially as I will be in town next week for two days for a social media conference! I have NO clue about the city. Been there twice but for all of 24 hours each time, so I never saw much ;)

Tim said...

Well, you probably won't see much of the suburbs if you're in the city. That's probably a good thing. The city is way cooler. Have fun!