Big Apple n. New York City. Editorial Note: Although there are many claims about the origin of “The Big Apple” as a nickname for New York City, each of the others lacks crucial supporting evidence or is demonstrably false. Among historians, lexicographers, and researchers it is now widely accepted that newspaperman John J. Fitz Gerald is the popularizer of “The Big Apple” and that he picked it up in the horseracing industry. There is no evidence that it originated with whores or a brothel, that it entered the American language through jazz, or that it came about via any other mechanism. Unless new evidence comes to light, the citations supporting this entry should henceforth set the record straight. Credit and thanks go to Barry Popik and Gerald Cohen for the research. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

  1. Don Lee says:

    This is fine as an origin of the term, but it still doesn’t explain what it means. At least the jazz explanation — that is, taking a bite of the big apple — gives closure to the question.

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