"Jazz" is not attested before 1913

George Thompson gt1 at NYU.EDU
Fri Mar 30 17:50:28 UTC 2001

Laurence Horn wrote: "Speaking of out-of-bounds sex--I forgot to mention
another wayward "Big Apple" citing.  This was on the A&E courtroom
series "100 Centre Street" a couple of weeks ago; the embattled liberal
night court judge Joe Rifkind played by Alan Arkin explains to his
clerk/factotum that the source of "Big Apple" is the upscale whorehouse
run by "Eve", whence "Eve's apples", and so on."

You uns may remember that I posted this explanation perhaps six months
ago.  It originates with a web site set up by a purported society for
NYC history.  If it is true that on the internet no one knows that you
are a dog, equally, no one knows that you are a liar, or fool, or crank,
or ignoramus or peddlar of misinformation for some nefarious purpose.
In this case, the answer is, the poster is a natural born liar, since
there is no way that s/he believes the piffle about "Eve" and her
"little apples".  Not that I acquit him or her of being any or all of
the other options.

It also illustrates what I like to call "Popik's Law": bad word
histories drive out good.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

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