Earliest Absolutely Unmistakable Usage of "Big Apple" = New York City

Jonathon Green slang at ABECEDARY.NET
Sun Jan 11 14:56:23 UTC 2004

Can I offer:

1927 Walter Winchell 'Broadway is the Big Apple, the Main Stem, the goal of
all ambition, the pot of gold at the end of a drab and somewhat colorless

This is cited by Nick Tosches on p. 266 of his history of American blackface
minstrelsy 'Where Dead Voices Gather (2002, UK edn.). I have no way, short
of contacting Tosches, of ascertaining his precise source. I presume it was
a column; WW was then working for the NY Graphic and he was just beginning
to be syndicated. I think this obviously  transcends earlier uses as regard
racetracks, but could, I suppose, be seen as a ref. to Broadway only, rather
than the whole city.

Tosches also refers to a 1909 ref. to 'Big Apple' = NYC in Edward S Martin:
The Wayfarer in New York. I presume, without checking the archives, that
this has long since been dealt with (pro or con) by Barry and/or Fred. My
apologies if the Winchell also merely rehearses information that has also
been looked at.

Jonathon Green

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