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.

Recent entries:
“Big Apple” explained in a film (2010) (11/18)
“No matter how loud car alarms are, cars never seem to wake up” (11/18)
“If snow is made of water and water has no calories, how come snowmen are fat?” (11/18)
“Cooking is like golf. You slice it, chip it, and put it on some greens” (11/18)
“Big Apple” answer on “Final Jeopardy!” (2009) (11/18)
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Entry from July 30, 2006
Big Burg

"Big Burg” is a nickname for New York City (and other big cities) that was popular in the early 1900s, before the “Big Apple” 1920s citations.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
burg, n.
A town or city. (Also berg, burgh.) U.S. colloq.
1843 Spirit of Times 25 Mar. 43/1 Two ‘individs’ in this ‘burg’ will give our friend Greer ‘the run of his teeth’ whenever he visits New York.
1846 S. F. Smith Theatr. Apprenticeship 151 The stranger..also disembarked at the same burgh.
1874 J. C. McCoy Hist. Sketches 44 The business of the burg [Abilene in 1867] was conducted in two small rooms.

(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
Big Burg n. a big city; (specif.) New York City.—constr. with the.
1918 Stringer House of Intrigue 28: he usually fought clear of the Big Burg.

15 October 1897, Hornellsville (NY) Weekly Tribune, pg. 4:
Who will be Mayor of Greater New York, is the query that still puzzles the people of that big burg.

10 February 1901, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 24:
WE are told with much emphasis that New York is sick of comic opera; that the taste of the public has undergone another radical change, and that comic opera cannot succeed in the big burg, which poses as the center of the theatrical universe.

5 May 1901, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 28:
Having been shut out of New York an entire season, Mrs. Fiske has finally secured a theater in the big burg, the Manhattan, formerly leased by William A. Brady.

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
The Big Burg (1929)
Animation, Comedy, Short | 11 March 1929 (USA)

A Dictionary of Old Hobo Slang
Stephen P. Alpert - March 31, 2004
the Big Burg - New York City

OCLC WorldCat record
Tucson was a railroad town : the days of steam in the big burg on the main line
Author: William D Kalt
Publisher: Mountlake Terrace, WA : VTD Rail Pub., ©2007.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNicknames/Slogans • Sunday, July 30, 2006 • Permalink