[Ads-l] Another Early Citation for "Big Apple"

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Jan 6 15:39:32 UTC 2016


Are these "big apple" usages that are associated with horse racing references to the Aqueduct Racetrack (the "Big A") specifically rather than to New York City more generally?  I see that the OED puts the 1921 John J. Fitz Gerald quotation under "big apple" sense 3, "Horse Racing. The New York racing circuit, considered as the pre-eminent one.", rather than sense 4, "The city of New York."

That is, did "Big A" become associated with "big apple" (NYC) somehow, at some time?  (Aqueduct opened in 1894.)

 Joel

      From: "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 8:56 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Another Early Citation for "Big Apple"
   
Barry Popik, whose work on "Big Apple" is legendary, has informed me that there are two cites by John J. Fitz Gerald in the New York Morning Telegraph that are earlier in the month of April 1922 than the Louisville cite dated April 17.

Fred Shapiro



________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Shapiro, Fred [fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2016 12:02 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Another Early Citation for "Big Apple"

Here's a still earlier citation for _Big Apple_ 'New York horse racing circuit.'  I believe this is now the second oldest known citation.  It is interesting that the term is used without explicit explanation:

1922 _Courier-Journal_ (Louisville) 17 Apr. 6 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  Jockey Russell McDermott departs for New York tonight.  He became connected with the Madden establishment a week ago and will give the "big apple" a trial for a change.

Fred Shapiro



________________________________
From: Shapiro, Fred
Sent: Monday, January 04, 2016 11:51 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Cc: bapopik at aol.com
Subject: Early Citation for "Big Apple"

I have a found a citation for "Big Apple," referring to the New York horse racing circuit, that is not an antedating but seems, from what I glean from an article on barrypopik.com, to be tied for the second earliest citation for the race track sense:

1922 _Courier Journal_ (Louisville) 3 May 12 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  Harry Anderson finally deserted the "big apple" as the New York racing circuit is known and is on the scene here.

Fred Shapiro


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