Big apple origins redux

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Mar 28 20:39:14 UTC 2003

Barry Popik wrote:

> I traced "manzana" origins to the late 1800s. It's a false lead
> for "the Big Apple."  The "dusky stablehand" was probably not a
> Spanish speaker, nor Fitz Gerald (his listener).  There is not a
> single citation for it until it was invented after "Big Apple"
> became popular, about 30 years later.

Many thanks to you and to Gerald Cohen for your comments. So those
works that firmly cite the Spanish "manzana principal" origin as fact
are perpetrating yet another "Big Apple" folk etymology. When you
start to look you find them everywhere ...

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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