Why Is New York Called “The Big Apple?”
I love horror and supernatural stories, as everyone reading my articles know. I got sidetracked from writing my usual stories when during a trivia game, a question about “The Big Apple” came up.
My guy and I love to play Buzz Time Trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tucson. Buzz Time has games running all day, with our favorite being the lunchtime trivia which consists of 7 questions. Players compete against other players locally and nationally. If they score high enough, they get their names up on the top “20” players nationally.
It’s a Buzz Time thing.
Anyhow, one of the trivia questions was about “The Big Apple” and I casually asked my companion “why is New York City called the big apple?” He replied, “I don’t know” which to me, was a totally unsatisfying response.
Now, I’m consumed with the burning desire to know.
I hop onto Google, and start googling “The Big Apple” and found out that back in the 1920’s the nickname was associated with horse racing.
Color me surprised.
Yeah, apparently a New York City Newspaper writer by the name of John Fitz Gerald, whose job was to write about the race track overheard two African American stable hands in New Orleans talking about “going to the big apple”.
This was a reference to New York City, which is well known for their race tracks being big money. Fitz Gerald liked the term so much that he started referencing it in his articles about the city.
Wait. It gets better.
In the 1930’s, Jazz musicians adopted the nickname to reference how New York City was home to some of the biggest music clubs in the United States.
The nickname slowly died out over the years until the 1970’s when Charles Gillett, president of the New York Convention and Visitors, came up with the ad campaign to “take a bite out of the big apple”.
New York City was experiencing some of the worst crime in history during this period, which affected the city’s tourism.
There is more to New York City than just crime and “The Big Apple” nickname softened the city’s reputation, reminding people of it’s more pleasant past.
The name stuck after that and represents another side of New York City. There are music clubs and exciting nightlife, restaurants, and just general fun things to do and see in “the Big Apple”.
So, now you know how New York City came to be known as the “The Big Apple” and I don’t know about you, but now I want to take a bite out of “The Big Apple” myself!