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
Coney Island Chicken (hot dog)
"Coney Island chicken" has been a slang term for a "hot dog" since at least 1920.


20 July 1920, New York (NY) Times, p. XX2:
Hot Dog Is Having Its Day:
World's Most Popular Lunch

(...)
The one-time "Coney Island" that the small town boy knew only as one of the delights of circuses, carnivals and fairs, has taken an all-the-year-round shanty on Main Street.
(...)(Col. 2--ed.)

In the variety of local names applied to the same product a national term often proves useful. The trade has already learned to respond to the names, "Coney Island chicken," "shore dinner," "half smokes," "weinies" and so on. To one manufacturer came an order for reed birds. He replied that he was not in the poultry business. "Send hot-dogs," the customer wrote back; and the manufacturer understood.

10 October 1933, Havana (Cuba) Evening Tribune, Walter Winchell column, pg. 2, col. 2:
When the first half of the 2nd game was dull I got a laugh out of a flip-crackling hot-dog vendor, who kept yelling: "Here ya are! Get ya hot franks -- better known as Coney Island chicken!"

7 May 1935, New York (NY) Times, p. 15:
"Hot Dogs" Top the List Of Sausages Eaten Here
"Hot dogs," known also as wieners, Coney Islands, half smokes, red hots and, on occasion, frankfurters, are New York City's favorite sausages. This information was released to the public yesterday by George A. Schmidt, chairman of the governing committee of the National Organization of Sausage Manufacturers.

7 June 1962, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, editorials, pg. 20, col. 2:
Conspiracy in Hot Dogs?
(...)
Whether it is known as a Coney Island chicken, a Polo Ground puppy or by some other affectionate and endearing term...
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 11, 2004 • Permalink