Downstate Illinois

Matthew Gordon GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri May 7 20:33:17 UTC 2004

Do Chicagoans consider Rockford or other locations east of Chicago as
"Downstate" too or does it have to be south of the city?

In Michigan the term for not-Detroit is "Outstate", if I recall
correctly though it's been a while.

Geoff Nathan wrote:

> At 09:49 AM 5/7/2004, Page Stephens wrote:
>> In a note about mountain oysters Doug Wilson uses the term "downstate
>> Illinois".
>> Having grown up in Centralia, Illinois which is approximately 65 miles
>> directly east of St. Louis we used to consider ourselves to be from
>> southern
>> Illinois. On the other hand I have heard my friends from Chicago refer to
>> anything south of Chicago as downstate, and I have known people who lived
>> south of Centralia suggest that Centralia is only marginally in southern
>> Illinois if at all.
> And having spent 22 of the past 24 years in Carbondale, Illinois I concur
> with Page's comments about what is 'downstate' and what is 'Southern'
> Illinois.  We often joked that for Chicagoans, Joliet was
> 'Downstate'.  Centralia is certainly at the northern margin of Southern
> Illinois.  It is south of I-70 (often considered to mark the isogloss
> between Northern and Southern dialects), but north of I-64.  Of course
> even
> Carbondale isn't at the bottom of the state--that honor is reserved for
> Cairo, which some will recall was an entry point to the Underground
> Railway, and is an additional fifty miles further towards the Gulf.
> Geoff

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