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Chicago

The name “Chicago” derives from a word in the language spoken by the Miami and Illinois peoples meaning “striped skunk, ” a word they also applied to the wild leek (known to later botanists as Allium tricoccum). This became the Indian name for the Chicago River, in recognition of the presence of wild leeks in the watershed. When early French explorers began adopting the word, with a variety of spellings, in the late seventeenth century, it came to refer to the site at the mouth of the Chicago River.

Bibliography
Swenson, John F. “Chicagoua/Chicago: The Origin, Meaning, and Etymology of a Place Name.” Illinois Historical Journal 84.4 (Winter 1991): 235–248.