Gerald Cohen on NPR's "Talk of the Nation"

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at UMR.EDU
Wed Nov 30 01:36:10 UTC 2005

   My thanks to Barry for sharing the information below. For the record, I had wanted to include mention of Barry's discovering the two items in which John J. Fitz Gerald tells how he acquired the term "the big apple" (= NYC racetracks) in 1920 from two African-American stable hands in New Orleans.  I had planned to acknowledge Barry towards the end of my brief interview, but the interviewer wanted to keep the presentation very succinct, and time ran out.

   So I'll say it here: Barry discovered two needles in a haystack, viz. the two newspaper articles in which Fitz Gerald explains how he produced the term "the big apple." Popik thereby clarified beyond any doubt that Fitz Gerald was the one who introduced "the big apple" into American speech  (= NYC racetracks, with strong overtones of "the big time"; later "Broadway" as the big time of theater, and a few years later, "Harlem" in specific and "NYC" in general where the greatest jazz in the world was being played.)

   Next summer (2006) or at the latest, 2007, I'll prepare a revised edition of my 1991 monograph _Origin of New York City's Nickname "The Big Apple"_, this time with Barry listed as co-author because of his very valuable contributions to the subject in the meantime.

Gerald Cohen

> ----------
> From:         American Dialect Society on behalf of Bapopik at AOL.COM
> Sent:         Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:38 PM
> Subject:           Gerald Cohen on NPR's "Talk of the Nation"
> Gerald Cohen discusses "the Big Apple" on NPR's Talk of the Nation, Nov.  28:
> ...
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