They say there are three possible answers to this question. So have a look and see what you think of each of them below…
1. In 1909 Edward S.Martin wrote in his book, The Wayfarer in New York: “New York was merely one of the fruits of that great tree whose roots go down in the Mississippi Valley, and whose branches spread from one ocean to the other. But the Big Apple (New York) gets a disproportionate share of the national sap”.
2. In Spanish, the word Manzana can mean ‘block’ (a small section of a town or city) or ‘apple’. So when immigrants referred to New York as ‘the Big Block’, people thought they were calling it the ‘Big Apple’.
3. Some say it derives from jazz musicians slang. In the 1920s they used to refer to gigs as ‘apples’ and New York was of course, the big apple. The phrase was also used in other walks of life, for example, a newspaper sports writer John J. FitzGerald heard it and called his racing column ‘Around the Big Apple’ which would indeed have helped to popularize the expression.