- Origins of the nickname
- Theories about the nickname
- The legacy of the nickname
The term “Big Apple” was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph.
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Origins of the nickname
While the Big Apple is most commonly associated new york city it’s actually believed to have originated in the 1920s in reference to prize money earned at horse racing tracks. The nickname first started being used in reference to New York City in the 1970s.
Early references to the term
The earliest known reference to the term “Big Apple” was in 1909, when John J. Fitzgerald used it in a story in the New York Morning Telegraph. Fitzgerald called New York “the Big Apple” because it was “the ne plus ultra of cities.”
In 1921, Fitzerald’s friend and fellow reporter Walter Browne also used the term in the New York Evening World. Browne was referring to racehorse trainer Johnny Campo’s successful string of wins at Aqueduct Racetrack, which was nicknamed “The Big A.”
Browne later explained that he had picked up the term from Campo, who had used it in reference to New York City’s racing circles. Campo told Browne that “New York is the Big Apple, the mainstem of racing.”
The popularity of the term in the 1920s
The popularity of the term in the 1920s is generally attributed to jazz musician John “FRENCHY” LEGENDRE who used the term frequently during this period. According to Legends, he first heard the term used by horsemen in New Orleans’ French Quarter, who referred to winning a big purses as “picking up the apple.” In an effort to make his home city sound more glamorous to visiting musicians, he began using the term himself and it eventually caught on.
Theories about the nickname
New York City has been called the Big Apple since the early 1900s. There are a few theories about how the nickname came about. One theory is that it was coined by John J. Fitzgerald, a sportswriter for the New York Morning Telegraph. Fitzgerald called the city the “Big Apple” in reference to the big prize money that was often offered at horse racing tracks in and around New York City.
The theory that it’s a reference to horse racing
One theory is that the term originated as a reference to horse racing. In the 1920s, New York City was home to some of the most famous horse racing tracks in the country, including Belmont Park and Jamaica Race Course. The Big Apple was originally used as a nickname for New York’s prize racehorse, James Butler’s gelding named Yankee Doodle.
It’s said that Butler would often refer to his horse as “the big apple”, and that eventually the nickname stuck. Another version of this story claims that the term was first used by John J. Fitzgerald, a reporter for the New York Morning Telegraph who was also known as “Horsefeathers”.
Fitzgerald is said to have coined the term while attending a race at Belmont Park in 1921. He overheard two stable hands discussing a particularly fast horse and one of them referred to it as “the big apple”. The name stuck with Fitzgerald and he began using it in his articles about horse racing.
The theory that it’s a reference to jazz
One popular theory is that the nickname came about during the jazz age, when New York City was known as the big time and a hub for jazz music. The theory goes that musicians would refer to playing gigs in New York City as “playing the big apple,” and eventually the city became known by that name.
The theory that it’s a reference to apples
The Big Apple was originally a term used by jazz musicians in the 1920s who used it as a reference to New York City. The term appeared in print for the first time in a newspaper column written by Ed Sullivan in the New York Evening Graphic in 1921. It wasn’t until later that the term became associated with the horse racing industry. There are a few theories about how this came about, but the most likely explanation is that it was simply a reference to the many apples that were grown in New York State.
The legacy of the nickname
New York City has been called the Big Apple since the 1920s. There are a few theories about how the nickname came about, but the most popular one is that it was first used by jazz musicians. The term caught on and was eventually used by New Yorkers to refer to their city.
The use of the term in popular culture
The use of the term in popular culture began in the 1920s when it was used to refer to the city’s nightlife. Jazz musicians often used the term to describe the city as a place where they find work. The term was also used in a negative way to describe the city’s crowds and its fast pace.
In the 1930s, the term began to be used in a more positive way by writers and others who saw the city as a place of opportunity. The most famous use of the term came in 1971 when “New York, New York” became the title of a song by Frank Sinatra. The song celebrated the city and its energy and helped make the nickname more popular.
Today, the nickname is used by people who love New York City and by people who think it is a great place to live, work, and visit.
The use of the term by the tourism industry
The use of the term “The Big Apple” to refer to New York City originated in the 1920s in connection with horse racing. John J. Fitzgerald, a reporter for the Morning Telegraph, began using the term to refer to New York in reference to the many racing tracks in and around the city. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the term began to be used more widely, when it was adopted by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau as part of a promotional campaign.