Illinois November 27, 2017
12 Foolproof Ways To Spot An Imposter In Illinois
Plenty of people move to Illinois each year and try to pass as residents with roots here. It can be a little tricky to spot an imposter in Illinois, but these 12 tips should make it a bit easier.
You’re not fooling anyone if you’re doing these things. Phonies take warning and read on.
1. Believing the weatherman
It's an unwritten rule in this state to be skeptical of absolutely everything the weather reporter reports. He says it'll be partly sunny and 75 degrees? Expect cold winds to bring that down to chilly temps. We can tell you're not from Illinois if you aren't prepared for any weather at anytime.
2. Not having a windshield scraper in your car
True Illinoisans know that frost and snow are imminent. A good chunk of the year, it's that time when you're supposed to go out early and start the car, but not everyone is so dutiful. It's obvious you're either lazy or an imposter when you drive with this much snow on your car with one spot wiped off to (kind of) see.
3. Moving a chair from a street spot
Dibs is real here, and if you move someone's chair, be prepared to suffer the consequences. That chair is there because someone worked really hard to dig out the spot, and it'll be obvious you don't know the rules if you break them.
4. Wanting to visit Chicago
Most Illinoisans would rather go to Springfield, Rockford, or Peoria for a fun day in a city. While Chicago has many great features, it can be difficult to navigate at a cheap price. Newbies always want to go here anyway, though.
5. Asking if (insert town) is near Chicago
Most people who are moving here for the first time only have a geological understanding of the Chicago area. If it's not near the city, the imposter won't know what you're talking about.
6. Over-boasting your love of an Illinois sports team
You typically see this when a team magically starts to do well. All of a sudden, everyone and their mother has a Cubs shirt or a Black Hawks jersey even though they've never been to a game.
7. Not appreciating cardinals
You're certainly an imposter if you ridicule or don't get excited about our state bird. They are most commonly seen during winter and are incredibly stunning.
8. Giving directions in miles
Illinoisans only give and understand directions in terms of minutes. In other words, it'll take 15 minutes to get there. Or, you'll need to go five minutes down the road and take a right.
9. Being astounded by trains
These modes of transport are so common here, they are mundane. Sure, there is the occasional railfan, but most of us just wish they'd go faster and get out of the way.
10. Not understanding what "cheese toasties," "gym shoes," or "skeeters" are
These colloquial terms make perfect sense to any true Illinoisan and roll off the tongue as easily as "Land of Lincoln." We love two of these things but hate the other. A phony won't know which is which.
11. Being surprised by rock formations
Illinois is full of diverse landscapes, but people from out of state don't always seem to know that. From the Shawnee National Park to Matthiessen State Park, there are waterfalls, caves, and bluffs everywhere.
12. Freaking out about a tornado siren
People who aren't from around here might think these sirens indicate something bad is approaching, but when you grow up hearing them go off in the middle of day when the sun is shining bright, you start to ignore them.
Of course, there are also many ways to tell that someone actually is from this great state. Check out
11 habits that prove you can’t take Illinois out of the Illinoisan.
How else can you tell that someone is an Illinois imposter? Share your secret skills with us!