July 26, 2004

New York, New York, The Big Apple

Anil's Daily Links lead me to The Big Apple, Barry Popik's wonderful site best described as:

A series of citations, quotations, and evidence on the true origins of a New York City nickname, with additional material on other words and terms associated with the city.

His emphasis was the true meaning of the city's nickname, The Big Apple, but it is so much more. I always thought the term/nickname was a Jazz thing. Popik's research shows it's most likely from this explanation by racing writer John J. Fitz Gerald (writing in his "From the Big Apple racing column):

Two dusky [WTF?! - ronn] stable hands were leading a pair of thoroughbred around the "cooling rings" of adjoining stables at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans and engaging in desultory conversation.

"Where y'all goin' from here?" queried one.

"From here we're headin' for The Big Apple," proudly replied the other.

"Well, you’d better fatten up them skinners or all you'll get from the apple will be the core," was the quick rejoinder.

I won't deal with that slur further. I enjoyed the site, especially it's name for New York's neighborhoods, slang, and foods made famous here. Check out this bit:

Curry Hill

You open up a place called "Curry in a Hurry" and they name the whole neighborhood after you. I'm just waiting for a place to open called "Hello, Thali."

The neighborhood is Murray Hill, named after Robert Murray, and eighteenth century merchant. The name "Curry Hill" probably dates back to the 1980s, but I haven't found earlier citations yet.

Can't wait for updates and my favorites neighborhoods (read Brooklyn!) to be added.

Posted by ronn at July 26, 2004 08:09 PM

Fascinatin'. I like these kinds of tidbits. Posted by: stevie on July 27, 2004 04:19 PM
So do I. They're a rich part of our history and need to be made known. I actually have an idea for a category (and possibly a new website) based on this type of info. Stay tuned, I may finally implement it. Posted by: ronn [TypeKey Profile Page] on July 27, 2004 08:29 PM