A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 11, 2004
Bronx Cheer
The "Bronx cheer" is associated with the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The first two citations below probably don't apply, but possibly indicate that the "Bronx cheer," as we know it, didn't then exist.

The Bronx cheer is also sometimes called the "Bronx salute."


Wikipedia: Blowing a raspberry
Blowing a raspberry, strawberry or making a Bronx cheer, is to make a noise that may signify derision, real or feigned. It may also be used in childhood phonemic play either solely by the child or by adults towards a child to encourage imitation to the delight of both parties. It is made by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing to produce a sound similar to flatulence. In the terminology of phonetics, this sound can be described as an unvoiced linguolabial trill.
(...)
The term "Bronx cheer" is used sarcastically because it is not a cheer; it is used to show disapproval.

29 October 1904, New York (NY) Times, pg. 7:
Bronx Cheers for Herrick.

28 October 1909, New York (NY) Times, pg. 2:
Bronx Cheers for Hearst.

19 October 1921, Washington (DC) Post, pg.16, cols. 4-5:
Princeton's defeat by Annapolis is regretted here as the Staggs say if they win in the East it won't be held as such-a-much, whereas if Chicago loses the East will grin and give Western football the jolly old Bronx cheer.

5 September 1922, Marion (OH) Daily Star, pg.6, col. 6:
There is a ghoul-like element in all baseball crowds. They tried to give Nehf the Bronx cheer when he started to slip in the sixth and then turned on Bush as soon as the Giants started to get to him.

30 September 1922, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, pg. 5, cols.
1-8 headline:
Ringworms Give "Bronx Cheer" And Hurl Garlands Of Razzberries As Wills
Disposes of Clem Johnson

(...) (Col. 1 - ed.)
"Bronx Cheer"
While the crowd was giving vent to the "Bronx Cheer" and hurling garlands of raspberries from the gallery, Pady Mullins, the manager of Wills followed his man through the crowd telling all: "He was way off tonight. He was way off."

6 October 1922, Cincinnati (OH) Enquirer, "Players and Umpires Disappear as Mob Surrounds Landis" by Damon Runyon, pg. 11, col. 5:
New York, October 5. -- On Manhattan Isle it is called the Bronx cheer and it goes something like this:

"Oo-oo-oo!"

It is deep, throaty, decisive -- in other parts of the world it is known as the "razz."

10 February 1923, Chicago (IL) Tribune, p. 13:
"Bronx Cheer" for Joe.
New York, Feb. 9. - (Special.) - Reports from London that Joe beckett had made the announcement that he had signed articles to meet Jack Dempsey in New York next July or August for the world's title evoked little more than guffaws in local fight circles today.

4 May 1923, New York (NY) Times, pg. 14:
When Griffith, up again, flied to centre for the third out, the fans gave the Giants a hearty Bronx cheer.

10 April 1924, New York (NY) Times, pg. 29:
The crowd gave the hero a Bronx cheer for the effort and razzed him frequently thereafter, with some justice, too, for Ruth's actions were an insult to the intelligence ofthe people who had paid their good money to see him play baseball.

12 October 1938, Philadelphia (PA) Evening Bulletin:
BRONX DISOWNS CHEER
Borough President Says "We Don't Use It Up Here"
New York, Oct. 12 - (AP) - Take it from James J. Lyons, the Bronx lays no claim to that discordant noise popularly known as the Bronx cheer.

Lyons, Bronx borough president, told the Chamber of Commerce "The Bronx cheer was brought here from outside somewhere and for some inexplicable
reason was named for our borough."

And Lyons' payoff: "But we don't use it up here."

15 July 1940, Philadelphia (PA) Evening Bulletin:
"BRONX CHEER" is one of several names given to discordant noises made by sports fans or occupants of theater galleries. In baseball slang, its technique is similar to the "Brooklyn razzoo," requiring considerable facial distortion. Bronx borough officials disown the "Bronx cheer" saying it "was brought here from outside somewhere and for some inexplicable reason was
named for our borough." Sports writers point out the Yankees baseball team plays in the Bronx and fans' noise of disapproval so named. Same applies to the "Brooklyn razzoo," they say, Brooklyn baseball fans being the most ardent in the country. Another name for such labioglossal sounds is "The Bird,"
inherited from 19th century theater. The gallery made a hissing sound in giving an actor "the bird," so-named from hissing sound of a goose; hence also, "the big bird." More familiar, perhaps, are "razz" and "razzberry," variants of word raspberry.

12 July 1942, Philadelphia (PA) Evening Bulletin:
Bronx Cheer
A Misnomer?
NEW YORK, July 11 (A. P.). - That loud, American noise of disapproval is misnamed, in the opinion of Bronx Borough President James J. Lyons.

"There is no such thing as a Bronx cheer," he said today. "The so-called Bronx cheer is a noise brought to the Bronx, especially to the Yankee Stadium, by vulgar people from outside the Bronx."
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Sunday, July 11, 2004 • Permalink