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 October 12, 2019
Negative Ned (Negative Nancy; Negative Nellie/Negative Nelly)

Entry in progress—B.P.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
negative, adj., adv.2, and int.
colloquial (originally U.S.). Preceding a forename beginning with N, forming a generic name for a person who is (habitually) negative, critical, or pessimistic. Esp. in negative Nelly and (in later use) negative Nancy.
Perhaps influenced by earlier uses, Nervous Nellie n. at nervous adj. and n. Compounds 2 and Nice Nelly n.
1934 Oakland (Calif.) Tribune 20 Aug. (Daily Mag. section) 1/8 ‘Another beauty of not going visiting,’ observed Negative Ned, ‘is that you don’t have to use those tom-thumb guest towels.’
1971 Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.) 11 Dec. 15/6 We’ve been swamped in a barrage of talk about what’s wrong with America, harangued by negative Nellies.
1999 Re: Did Anyone see This? in rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting.misc (Usenet newsgroup) 13 May Be prepared for one or two ‘negative-Nancies’ to try to pick apart your post.

Newspapers.com
20 August 1934, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “The Conning Tower” by F.P.A. (Franklin P. Adams), pg. 19, col. 8:
“Another beauty of not going visiting,” observed Negative Ned, “is that you don’t have to use those tom-thumb guest towels.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Saturday, October 12, 2019 • Permalink