Big Apple in new book.

Evan Morris words1 at WORD-DETECTIVE.COM
Thu Apr 7 01:44:39 UTC 2005

>From "Goldenballs and the Iron Lady -- A Little Book of Nicknames," by
Andrew Delahunty (OUP, April 2005):

The Big Apple:

Why New York City is known as the Big Apple is something of a mystery.  The
phrase seems to have been first used in the 1920s, perhaps after the name of
a Harlem night club used by jazz musicians, which became synonymous with the
city itself.  Another possible explanation is that the Spanish word for a
block of buildings is "manzana," which is also the word for an apple.  Or
the expression may refer to the apple in the Garden of Eden, characterizing
the city as a den of temptation and sin.  Whatever its origin, the term was
revived in the 1970s as part of a publicity campaign designed to improve the
city's image, with the slogan "New York City -- The Big Apple."

The book, incidentally, is fairly UK-centric.  Was Ronald Reagan really
known as "Old Hopalong" in the UK?

Evan Morris
words1 at

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