Big A (1959) & Big Blue (1982, 1983) revisited

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Sep 1 21:35:01 UTC 2002


   "The Big A" is the popular name of the Aqueduct racetrack.  It was renovated in the 1950s.  When it was re-opened in 1959, that name was used.
   Clark Whelton said that he found "Big A" used in a letter, dated from about 1918.  I said that 1918 was way to early for that nickname, and that it had nothing to do with "the Big Apple."  Actually, it was the other way around.  "The Big Apple" came first, and "the Big A" took off on this.
   NEW YORK TIMES full text verifies this completely.  "The Big A" just isn't there before 1959.

   9 September 1959, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 21 ad:
_the big A_
   Everything about the new Aqueduct is so big that it is referred to as the Big A.

(This is about four days earlier than I had found "the Big A."  Search ADS-L archives for "Aqueduct."  You all get your money back!--ed.)


   The nickname of both the football Giants and I.B.M.

   23 September 1979, NEW YORK TIMES, "Painful Art of Rooting for the Giants," pg. 52: big blue bumblers.

   23 July 1982, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. A17:
   After years of languishing behind Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia in the Eastern Division and being laughed at for their bungled draft choices (remember Big Al Simpson?), the Giants are the Big Blue Team of Destiny again in pro football.

   27 September 1983, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. C5:
   The Big Blue could be stuck with a serious servicing problem as well.
(I.B.M. computer--ed.)

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