A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 16, 2013
Five Apple Seeds, Five Boroughs (1990s?)

Cut an apple horizontally, and one often sees a five-seed star pattern. The five seeds are said to represent the five boroughs of New York City.

This was posted on Twitter on December 16, 2013:

“I’m a native NYer; was taught in school it’s bc if you slice apple latitudinally, there’s a 5-point star= 5 boroughs.”

There does not appear to be any historical documentary evidence to support this interpretation for the origin of New York City’s nickname, “the Big Apple.”


Twitter
Maria Popova ‏@brainpicker 9h
Even most native New Yorkers don’t know the origin of why NYC is known as “the Big Apple” – and now we all do: http://j.mp/1fhWLKM
6:02 PM - 16 Dec 13

Aleema
‏@aleemam
@brainpicker I’m a native NYer; was taught in school it’s bc if you slice apple latitudinally, there’s a 5-point star= 5 boroughs
11:55 PM - 16 Dec 13

Barry Popik ‏
@barrypopik
@aleemam @brainpicker What school and when? Was this in printed material? No mention of “Big Apple Corner” that I dedicated?
11:16 AM - 17 Dec 13

Aleema
‏@aleemam
@barrypopik @brainpicker this was in elementary school, so should be interpreted playfully wink no printed material, teacher just told us
12:12 PM - 17 Dec 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1970s-present: False Etymologies • Monday, December 16, 2013 • Permalink