Clark Vitt: Friends and I were having a discussion as to why New York City is nicknamed the Big Apple. No one seems to know. Do you?
Dick Capek: Could it be that it's rotten to the core?
JC: Rotten apples are rotten to the core. Big apples, are "big" apples.
Miguel: Because its a meca for immigrants and they all want a piece of it :-)
Hal: According to William & Mary Morris, New York City is nicknamed the Big Apple cuz that is where jazz musicians can get the biggest & best gigs. Small cities and towns were known in musicians' slang "the little apples," as in "God made little apples." ("Little green apples?") A band booker might tell a band leader, "I've lined up a string of little apples for you." But, when they were headed for New York City, that -- in the language of the jazz musician -- was the *Big Apple*, or simply The Apple. I read something else about The Big Apple, but I can't remember where. Maybe one of these:
The Word Wizard (http://wordwizard.com/)
The Logical World of Etymology (http://www.phoenix.net/~melanie/thelogic.htm)
But, what I wanna know is WHY CHICAGO'S CALLED THAT TODDLIN' TOWN?
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