This may have been mentioned, but

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 12 20:44:57 UTC 2013

On Mar 12, 2013, at 7:37 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:

> Thanks. The film clip is basically accurate (and yes, that *is* amazing). Just one quibble: The stable hand who spoke of going to "the big apple" (in 1920) did so in New Orleans; there's nothing that connects him with Mississippi.

Well, maybe the scriptwriter (or Barney, who does get confused a lot) was thinking of *the* Mississippi.  Still, generous partial credit.

> Gerald Cohen, co-author (with Barry Popik)
> _Origin of New York City's Nickname "The Big Apple"_, 2nd, revised and expanded edition.
> Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. 2011.
> ________________________________________
> Message from Ben Zimmer, Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1:00 PM:
> On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 1:50 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> I just saw "Barney's Version", a 2010 movie from a 1990's novel by
>> Mordecai Richler (so you can predict Montreal, Jewish, Leonard
>> Cohen songs on the soundtrack), with Paul Giamatti as Barney and
>> Dustin Hoffman as his father.  (It was my choice of the airplane movie
>> litter, and not bad at that.)  But the relevance here is a scene in which
>> Barney has suddenly shown up in New York to woo a woman he met
>> (at his own second wedding) and fallen in love with.  So they're
>> walking in Central Park and, maybe out of nervousness or maybe to
>> impress her, he begins a riff asking her whether she knows why The
>> Big Apple is called "The Big Apple", and proceeds to tell her.  The
>> amazing part is that he gets it right--John J. Fitz Gerald, the stable
>> hands, everything--as if he'd cribbed it from Barry Popik's web site,
>> Jerry Cohen's ads-l postings, or both.  Wonder what the story is thereā€¦
> I guess we can thank screenwriter Michael Konyves, since the "Big
> Apple" business doesn't appear to be in Richler's novel. You can see
> the clip here:
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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