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 March 08, 2016
Yaptown-on-the-Hudson

"Yaptown” (or “yap town") is a town full of “yaps,” or fools. “The theater-goers of Jayville and Yaptown” was cited i print in 1889. Many cities had been called “yaptowns” in the 1890s and early 1900s.

American writer O. Henry (the pen name of William Sydney Porter, 1862-1910) wrote in “A Tempered Wind” in McClure’s Magazine i August 1904:

“If there ever was an aviary overstocked with jays it is that Yaptown-on-the-Hudson. Cosmopolitan they call it. You bet. So’s a piece of fly-paper.”

“Yaptown-on-the-Hudson (River)” was used just that one time and is of historical interest today.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
yap, n.
A fool, someone easily taken in; also, an uncultured or unsophisticated person. dial. and U.S. slang.
c1894 C. H. Hoyt Texas Steer (1899) iii. 6 Instead of his being the only ‘yap’, as he calls it, in Congress there were about two hundred other members.
1895 W. Stevens Let. 4 Aug. (1967) 6 Paul and Several other Yaps are up with them.
1898 B. Kirkby Lakeland Words 157 Yap, a chap ‘at’s a bit ov o gomeril.

Wikipedia: O. Henry
William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American short story writer. O. Henry’s short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization, and surprise endings.

22 March 1889, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “Hit and Miss,” pg. 8, col. 2:
The theater-goers of Jayville and Yaptown measure everything by the C. T. C standard and Marks is their prophet, or rather, their representative comedian.

25 August 1898, Life magazine, “Exit the Horse Car,” pg. 149, col. 3:
New York, always up to date, has followed the example of Upper Podunkville and East Yaptown, and has substituted the trolley for the overworked horse.

Google Books
August 1904, McClure’s Magazine, “A Tempered Wind” by O. Henry, pg. 353:
If there ever was an aviary overstocked with jays it is that Yaptown-on-the-Hudson. Cosmopolitan they call it. You bet. So’s a piece of fly-paper.

30 September 1906, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), pg. 15, col. 7:
NEW YORK THE YAP TOWN; HOME OF THE EASY MARK:
It Is There That Your “Con.” Man Finds Most Of His Willing Victims

Google Books
The Gentle Grafter
By O. Henry
New York, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company
1909
Pg. 172:
If there ever was an aviary overstocked with jays it is that Yaptown-on-the-Hudson. Cosmopolitan they call it. You bet. So’s a piece of fly-paper.

Google Books
September 1915, The Bookman, pg. 41:
THE NEW YORK OF THE NOVELISTS—A NEW PILGRIMAGE
PART II. THE CANONS OF THE MONEY GRUBBERS
(...)
Whether “Little Old Noisyville on the Subway,” or “Yaptown on the Hudson,” if you prefer it, be a friend or a stranger to you, the writer asks your companionship in the following of the trail.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNicknames/Slogans • Tuesday, March 08, 2016 • Permalink