Ever wondered why New York City is called “The Big Apple?” The nickname for the bustling city comes from the early 1900’s, and was a slang term at the time. “The Big Apple” was eventually adopted by New York City officially in 1971; and it has been a popular name ever since. Are you ready to take a bite out of The Big Apple?
The origins of “The Big Apple” is actually from the horse-racing community. Back then, a cash prize for a race was referred to as an “apple.” Only the best horses were allowed to race at the tracks in New York City, for higher cash prizes. The horse-racing community began to refer to NYC as “The Big Apple” due to the high esteem and prize value associated with getting to race in tracks in the city.
Around the same time, the phrase became popular among rising jazz musicians. Travelling musicians could play across America, but no town accepted jazz and the nightclubs that were filled with it’s sound, like Manhattan. A popular saying among jazz players was: “There are many apples on a tree, but there’s only one big one.” The big one refers to New York City, where landing a regular spot at a nightclub was a sign that you were making it big.
When you visit New York City, see it with our experienced tour guides. We will make sure your group experiences all the fun and excitement that New York City has to offer. With City Tales Tours, you can see the sights and sounds of the Big Apple, the way you were meant to see them.