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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 31, 2017
Dressed Resembling A Girl (“drag” backronym)

“Drag” is sometimes given the backronym (back acronym) of “DRess(ed) As a Girl” or “Dressed Resembling A Girl.” The Oxford English Dictionary records “drag” from at least 1870, and the word was not originally an acronym.
“DrAG Queens — Dressed As a Girl” and “DrAB Kings — Dressed As a Boy” were printed in a 1990 book. “Did you know the word ‘drag’ comes from Shakespearian stage directions - ‘dress resembling a girl’” was posted on Twitter on April 19, 2010.
Wikipedia: Drag queen
A drag queen is a person, usually male, who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex and often acts with exaggerated femininity and in feminine gender roles which is for the purpose of entertainment or fashion. Often, they will exaggerate certain characteristics such as make-up and eyelashes for comic, dramatic, or satirical effect. While drag is very much associated with gay men and gay culture, there are drag artists of all sexualities.
The etymology of the term “drag queen” is disputed. The term drag queen occurred in Polari, a subset of English slang that was popular in some gay communities in the early part of the 20th century. The first recorded use of “drag” to refer to actors dressed in women’s clothing is from 1870.
A folk etymology is that drag is an acronym of “Dressed Resembling A Girl” in description of male theatrical transvestism. The film Connie and Carla also made a reference to this, though the acronym was slightly altered to men “Dressed as Girls.”
(Oxford English Dictionary)
drag, n.   
Feminine attire worn by a man; also, a party or dance attended by men wearing feminine attire; hence gen., clothes, clothing. slang.
1870   Reynolds’s Newsp. 29 May 5/5   We shall come in drag.
1870   London Figaro 23 June 3/4   Not quite so low..as going about in ‘drag’.
1887   Referee 24 July 3/1   I don’t like to see low coms. in drag parts.
1927   Sunday Express 13 Feb. 5/5   A drag is a rowdy party attended by abnormal men dressed in scanty feminine garments, singing jazz songs in high falsetto voices.
Google Books
The Welcoming Congregation
By Scott W Alexander
Boston, MA: Unitarian Universalist Association
Pg. 120:
DrAG Queens* — Dressed As a Girl
DrAB Kings* — Dressed As a Boy
* DrAG Queen and DrAB King are historical terms. Currently, “DrAG” refers to either. 
Google Groups: alt.transgendered
Gender Trouble
:Stacey Maxwell:
Drag means Dressed As a Girl,  and refers to gender specifically and perhaps even a disguise of gender.
Google Books
Performing at the Bar:
Reconstructing the Nuremberg Fastnachtspiel of the Fifteenth Century

By James Robert Erb
Thesis (Ph. D. in German)—University of California, Berkeley
May 1996
Pg. 126:
“Drag” is reputed to be an acronym coined by Shakespeare: [Drlessed [a]s a [g]irl.
Google Groups: alt.transgendered
Telling my Best Friend
Do you really need to ‘fake it’ with your roomie? Why not go ‘out front’ and suggest that you’d like to dress as a girl (drag) for Halloween?
Google Groups: alt.fashion.crossdressing
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
I was under the impression that “drag” and “drab” were acronyms.
DRAB = Dressed As a Boy
DRAG = Dressed As a Girl
Google Groups: tw.bbs.lang.english
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
I read somewhere that “drag” stands for “dress as a girl” but I’m afraid I can’t remember where I read it from.
Google Books
A Dictionary of Polari & Gay Slang

By Paul Baker
London, UK: Continuum
Pg. 112:
drag noun
3. an acronym of Dressed as a girl
Fozzie the Snowman‏
Did you know the word “drag” comes from Shakespearian stage directions - “dress resembling a girl.” #RPDR
9:05 PM - 19 Apr 2010
Long Overdo‏
DRAG mean DRess As a Girl - taken from theater circa Shakepearean dem time
11:05 PM - 12 Jun 2010
Does Drag stand for “dressed as a girl” or “dressed resembling a girl?” self.rupaulsdragrace
Submitted March 18, 2015 by Musichead2468Kim Chi
Taklit_MarionOnSasha Velour
This acronym wasn’t used. Shakespeare did not originate the term “drag.” It’s a folk etymology.
Oruwari Daala‏
DRAG “Dressed Resembling A Girl” QUEEN.————————————————————- #immortalglam… https://www.instagram.com/p/BdAYoHcg7Dk/
7:21 AM - 22 Dec 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Sunday, December 31, 2017 • Permalink

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