Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Aug 11 01:55:08 UTC 1999

"My name is Elmer J. Fudd.  Millionaire.  I own a mansion and a yacht."
--somewhere in ADS-L archives.

     In the middle of November, PBS will show its much-awaited documentary, NEW YORK.  A book will come out a little before that; the web site ( is being prepared now and is supposed to be up by the end of August.
     I told Ric Burns and his staff at Steeplechase Films about my work and the work of others here (Big Apple, Great White Way, Yankees, shyster, hooker--you can't do a New York documentary without 'em).  He couldn't be bothered to reply.
     The taxi cab quiz game is currently up--in part--at  This is one of the questions:

Question:  New York's phenomenal growth in the 1850s gave rise to this new term:

A.  "Skinflint"
B.  "Millionaire"
C.  "Venture capitalist"

     Answer "A" or "C" and you get, "Give it another try, why don't you?"  Answer "B" and you get "Right you are!" and:

Correct!  From Peter Cooper to Cornelius Venderbilt, New York saw dozens of millionaires created in the boom-decade of the 1850s.

    But the word "millionaire" doesn't come from New York City in the 1850s!  The first hit on the Making of America database is the SOUTHERN LITERARY MESSENGER of 1836--discussing a "millionaire" from Boston.
    The BDE has it in English from 1826, in Benjamin Disraeli's VIVIAN GREY.  Disraeli borrowed it from the French word, _millionnaire_.
    Ah, but the web site is just starting...

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