So how did New York City get the nickname  The Big Apple? No one knows for sure but there are several theories. Here are just a few.
Eve and Her Apples. During the French Revolution, at the beginning of the 19th century, many of the French upper classes escaped to the United States and started a new life. One of these escapees was Evelyn Claudine de Saint Évremond, a friend of Queen Marie Antoinette. Evelyn was a very beautiful woman and was soon at home  in New York society. She was even going to marry John Hamilton, the son of the revolutionary leader Alexander Hamilton, but for some unknown reason the wedding was called off.  Shortly afterwards, she decided to go into business. With the help of some of her wealthy admirers, she opened a “salon” (which was in fact an elegant brothel . Apart from other activities, visitors went there to gamble , enjoy witty  conversation and have dinner in elegant surroundings. The girls who worked for Eve were as beautiful and elegant as the owner and many of them married wealthy clients. New York society insisted on anglicizing her name to “Eve”, which she found amusing because of the biblical reference. From then on, she referred to the girls who worked for her as “my irresistible apples”. This term, used to describe the girls who worked in such salons, was mentioned in a guide to New York – The Gentlemen’s Directory of New York City (1870) – which said that “New York apples are superior to any in the New World, or indeed the Old”.
All That Jazz. Many of the jazz musicians at the time lived in Harlem and, when they were on tour, they couldn’t wait to get back to the Big Apple. As seen above, in the quiz, they used branches and apples as metaphors to describe where they were working. An old saying in show business was “There are many apples on the tree but only one Big Apple” referring to New York in general, and Harlem in particular, which was the jazz capital at the time. There was also a dance, started by a jazz club in South Carolina and called “The Big Apple”, which quickly spread  to Harlem and later became a national craze .
Spanish Influence. New York is home to a number of Spanish speaking immigrants. Besides meaning “apple”, manzana in Spanish can be translated to block in American English, which is the section of street between two cross streets. La manzana principal could mean the center of the city, or downtown as Americans say.
Around the Race Tracks . This is one of the most popular and widely accepted theories. John Fitzgerald was a prominent horse-racing reporter, who wrote for the New York Morning Telegraph. He first heard the name when visiting race tracks in New Orleans. The stable hands , jockeys and trainers all referred to New York, which had the most important race tracks, as “The Big Apple”. Fitzgerald liked this term so much that he began using it for the headings  of his columns, "Around the Big Apple" or "On the Big Apple". In fact, the corner of West 54th Street and Broadway, where Fitzgerald lived for 30 years, was renamed “Big Apple Corner” in 1997.
Well, which version do you believe or prefer? All of them sound feasible , don’t they? Although we may never know the real origin of the name, you have to admit that it has a nice ring to it , doesn’t it? Go ahead, take a bite!
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