Where did the term Big Apple come from?

In our estimation, the origin of the name is not as fascinating as one would think. What is interesting is the other cities with similar names. See below.
John J. FitzGerald, born in 1893, was a horse-racing writer for The Morning Telegraph in the 1920’s and was the first to popularize the term “The Big Apple.” While on assignment in New Orleans, FitzGerald overheard African-American stablehands refer to New York City race-courses as “The Big Apple.” FitzGerald loved the term so much that he named his racing column “Around The Big Apple.” A decade later many jazz musicians began calling the City “The Big Apple” to refer to New York City (especially Harlem) as the jazz capital of the world. Soon the nickname became synonymous with New York City and its cultural diversity. In the early 1970’s the name played an important role in reviving New York’s tourist economy through a campaign led by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. Today the nickname “The Big Apple,” which replaced “Fun City,” is the international description of our city and is synonymous with the cultural and tourist attractions of New York City.

The southwest corner of West 54th Street and Broadway, the corner on which John J. FitzGerald resided from 1934 to 1963, is designated “Big Apple Corner.”

Other cities with similar names

  • The Big Peach – Atlanta
  • The Big Easy – New Orleans
  • The Little Apple – Manhattan, Kansas 
  • The Big Guava – Tampa, Florida
  • The Big Durian – Jakarta
  • The Big Lime – Key Largo
  • The Big Scrapple – Philadelphia
  • The Big Chip – Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
  • The Big D – Dallas
  • The Big Burrito – Overland Park, Kansas
  • The Big Onion – Chicago
  • The Big Tomato – Sacramento
  • The Big Chilli – Bangkok
  • The Big Lychee – Hong Kong
  • The Big Orange – Tel Aviv
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