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 December 20, 2011
Gothamite (inhabitant of Gotham)

A “Gothamite” is an inhabitant of Gotham, a town in Nottinghamshire, England. “Gotham” was applied to New York City by Washington Irving and others in Salmagundi; or The Whim-whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. & Others (1807). “Gothamite” (cited in print since at least 1749) appeared Salmagundi in the issue of November 11, 1807.

The term “Gothamist” is usually used for an inhabitant of the town in Nottinghamshire and has been infrequently used for an inhabitant of New York City.


Wikipedia: Salmagundi (periodical)
Salmagundi; or The Whim-whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. & Others, commonly referred to as Salmagundi, was a 19th century satirical periodical created and written by American writer Washington Irving. Written in collaboration with Irving’s oldest brother, William, and James Kirke Paulding, Irving produced twenty issues at irregular intervals between January 24, 1807 and January 15, 1808.

Salmagundi lampooned New York culture and politics in a manner much like today’s Mad magazine. It was in the November 11, 1807 issue that Irving first attached the name “Gotham” to New York City.

Wikipedia: Adjectivals and demonyms for cities
New York New Yorkers ("Gothamites"/"Knickerbockers")
• The Bronx Bronxites, Bronxers
• Brooklyn Brooklynites (archaic: “Trolley Dodgers")
• Manhattan Manhattanites
• Queens Queensites
• Staten Island Staten Islanders

(Dictionary of Americanisms)
Gothamite, n. An inhabitant of New York City.
1807 IRVING Salmagundi xvii. 460 Whereat the Gothamites...marvelled exceedinglie.
1852 Lantern (N.Y.) I. III/1 On behalf of the Gothamites Diogenes returns thanks for the compliment he has paid them of making this city his...head quarters.
1944 Chi. D. News 10 July 8/1 Hizzoner “Butch” La Guardia...delivered a broadcast to his fellow Gothamites.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Gothamite n.  (a) = Gothamist n.; (b) a New-Yorker.
1802 C. Lamb Curious Fragm. ii, These were dizzards, fools, gothamites.
1807 Salmagundi 11 Nov. 359 Whereat the Gothamites‥marvelled exceedinglie.
1852 C. A. Bristed Upper Ten Thousand ii. 37 The first thing‥that a young Gothamite does is to get a horse.

OCLC WorldCat record
An epistle from the bottle conjurors to the Gothamites; containing the eighth chapter of the Acts of the seducers, sharpers and conjurors in three parts. .... Printed from the manuscript of Signore Dolocio Ufrontorio
Author: Dolorio Ufrontorio
Publisher: London : printed for R. Freeman, and B. Habrin, 1749.
Edition/Format:  eBook : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The Gothamites in council—humbly inscribed to the geese in disgrace sometime call’d the honest men of P--------h
Author: Daniel Job
Publisher: [London] : Publish’d according to act of Parliament, Feb. 21, 1751, by Dan Job, stationer in King Street, Covent Garden, [1751]
Edition/Format:  Image : Graphic : Original artwork : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The chronicles of the Gothamites. 1750-1777.
Publisher: [Rodborough?] : Printed in the year, 1778.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

3 May 1783, Boston (MA) Evening Post, pg. 2, col. 2:
From the NEW-YORK GAZETTE, April 23.
(...)
2. But the wise men of Gotham were alive; yet, verily, verily, they were broad awake.—Moreover, they were in the land of the living; for their generation were without end.
3. And it came to pass that there was a certain man, a Gothamite by birth, and his fathers were Gothamites before him.

16 May 1801, Washington Federalist (Washington, DC), pg. 3, col. 2:
Certain Gothamites had contemplated the baracks being built at the western end of the city; ...

31 December 1803, Daily Advertiser (New York, NY), pg. 3, col. 1:
A SLAWKENBERGIAN FRAGMENT.
(FROM THE MORNING HERALD.)
(...)
In all my circumlocutory epistles haveI, Slawkenbergius, tied down every line to the puss positive, and while I play with the curiosity of the Gothamites, at the expense of their pocket, to please the idle vapours of their brain, it will be found that Junius so runs in their heads that the Gothamites cannot follow their business.

25 November 1807, The Tickler (Philadelphia, PA), pg. 3, col. 1:
FROM SALMAGUNDI
CHAP. CIX.
OF THE CHRONICLES OF THE RENOWNED AND ANCIENT CITY OF GOTHAM.
(...)
The Gothamites made some semblance of defence, but their women having been all won over into the interest of the enemy, they were shortly seduced to make most abject submission, and delivered over to the coercion of certain professors of the Hoppingtots, who did put them under the most ignominious durance, for the space of a long time, until they had learned to turn out their toes, and flourish their legs after the true manner of their conquerors.

21 April 1809, Republican Watch-Tower (New York, NY), pg. 4, col. 2:
Something like it!—It is related in the annals of ancient days, that there was a country called Gotham, no doubt from a tribe of the Goths, and the people were called Gothamites: ...

OCLC WorldCat record
Gotham and the Gothamites : a medley.
Author: Samuel B H Judah
Publisher: New-York : Published for the author and sold by S. King, 1823.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

23 August 1836, American Traveller (Boston, MA), pg. 2, col. 3:
The ‘Gothamites,’ ‘Pukes,’ “Bay State boys,’ ‘Granite boys,’ ‘Green Mountain boys,’ ‘Chickens,’ ‘Buckeyes,’ ‘Wolverines,’ ‘Suckhers,’ ‘Hooziers,’ ‘&c. &c. &c.’ will hereafter be compelled to yield the palm to the ladies of Wisconsin, who now and henceforth are determined to be known as the Hawk Eyes.

OCLC WorldCat record
Champagne Charlie, or, The “sports” of New-York : exhibiting in lively colors all the ins and outs and ups and downs of every class of fast Gothamites! : including scenes in drawing rooms, billiard saloons, free and easy’s, gambling houses, private supper rooms : every phase of fashionable and unfashionable life in the empire city
Author: Warren Baer
Publisher: New York : R.M. DeWitt, 1868.
Edition/Format:  Book : Fiction : English

Google Books
The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia;
A work of universal reference in all departments of knowledge, with a new atlas of the world

Edited by William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin E. Smith
New York, NY: Century Co.
1897
Pg. 2582:
Gothamist n. [< Gotham in Nottinghamshire, England, + -ist. The village of Gotham became proverbial for the blundering simplicity of its inhabitants ("the wise men of Gotham"), of which many ludicrous stories were told.] A simple-minded person; a simpleton. See the etymology.
Gothamite n. [< Gotham + -ite.] An inhabitant of Gotham in England, and, by transfer, of the city of New York, to which the name was humorously applied in allusion to the stories of “the wise men of Gotham.” See Gothamist. [The term was first used by Washington Irving in “Salmagundi,” 1807.]

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Tuesday, December 20, 2011 • Permalink