[Ads-l] the Big Apple again

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Wed Aug 8 22:02:13 EDT 2018


For research into the origin of "The Big Apple" might I

draw attention to _Origin of New York City's Nickname

"The Big Apple"_, (co-authored by Gerald Leonard Cohen

and Barry A. Popik) 2nd, revised and expanded edition,

Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag, 2011.

     This second edition contains the very valuable (actually

extraordinary) research of attorney/independent scholar

Barry Popik. And although OED3 mentions my 1991 book (for

which I am very grateful), might I suggest that mention of it

be replaced by the 2nd (2011) edition.

     Popik and I each worked on "The Big Apple" for some 21

years, and we incorporated (with due credit) the valuable input

we received in the process, especially from ads-l members.

George Thompson writes with appropriate skepticism: "I don't

know that she  [OED etymology editor] is the source of the information

given. I have never heard of "Big Apple" as a 19th century betting term --

certainly never encountered it while reading 19th C newspapers."

Neither have I and neither has Popik.

     Incidentally, chapter 7 of Popik & Cohen 2011 is titled "'Big Apple'

Incorrect Etymologies" and discusses eight such items.  With the

powerhouses of OED and The New York Times teaming up to

advance (however tentatively) a new etymology, I see it will be

necessary to add a ninth incorrect etymology to the list.

     Chapter 4 of Popik & Cohen 2011 is titled "Apples Regarded As

Very Special," with the first paragraph providing a nice overview of

how "the big apple" got its figurative start (big red delicious apple

becomes "big shot" and "the big time.").  I'll present that paragraph

in a separate e-mail tomorrow.

   Might I also suggest: If any dictionary editors would like to treat any

etymological items I've worked on and would welcome input,

please feel free to contact me.


With best wishes.


Gerald Cohen

Research specialty: etymology


________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 5:41 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: the Big Apple again

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
Subject:      the Big Apple again
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There was an article in the NYTimes of this past Tuesday on words from
sports that have entered general speech.  It quotes Katherine Connor
Martin, head of U.S. dictionaries at Oxford University Press early on, but
I don't know that she is the source of the information given.
I have never heard of "Big Apple" as a 19th century betting term --
 certainly have never encountered it while reading 19th C newspapers.
The Big Apple

Some New Yorkers refer to the Big Apple
<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/07/style/warren-buffett-omaha.html> as
=E2=80=9Cthe city.=E2=80=9D Style, May 7.

In the 19th century, people with a lot of certainty about something might
have said that they were willing to =E2=80=9Cbet a big apple=E2=80=9D on it=
.  Perhaps that
helped extend the use to horse racing, and New York=E2=80=99s racing circui=
t, the
most prominent in the country, came to be known by the term.

=E2=80=9CThe Big Apple,=E2=80=9D The Morning Telegraph wrote in 1924. =E2=
=80=9CThe dream of every
lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen.
There=E2=80=99s only one Big Apple. That=E2=80=99s New York.=E2=80=9D

Soon all of New York had picked up the name.
A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 7, 2018, on Page B7 of
the New York edition with the headline: Where Do Sports Idioms Come From?
Left Field, Usually.

--=20
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
picture of his great-grandfather.)
http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---=
a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851

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