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 July 12, 2004
Second “Big Apple” explanation: December 1, 1926





Above, the header from the 1924 newspaper column of John J. Fitz Gerald. Click to see a portion of the column which includes his use of "Big Apple." Part of a 1926 column is also available.



John J. Fitz Gerald explained "his phrase"--"the Big Apple"--to readers once again. Some minor details and phrasing disagree, but it is presented similarly and with greater detail here. Although I had found this about twelve years ago, this explanation is also almost nowhere on the web. From "In the Paddock" with John J. Fitz Gerald in the New York Morning Telegraph, December 1, 1926, page, 11, column 8:

So many people have asked the writer about the derivation of his phrase, "the big apple," that he is forced to make another explanation. New Orleans has called it to his mind again.

A number of years back, when racing a few horses at the Fair Grounds with Jake Byer, he was watching a couple of stable hands cool out a pair of "hots" in a circle outside the stable.

A boy from an adjoining barn called over. "Where you shipping after the meeting?"

To this one of the lads replied, "Why we ain't no bull-ring stable, we's goin' to 'the big apple.'"

The reply was bright and snappy.

"Boy, I don't know what you're goin' to that apple with those hides for. All you'll get is the rind."



Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1920s: John J. Fitz Gerald and the N.Y. Morning Telegraph • Monday, July 12, 2004 • Permalink


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