The Big Apple (expression)
Did you know that New York has a nickname? Sometimes people call it ‘the Big Apple’. The expression started in the 1920s. At that time ‘apple’ was slang for the prize you could win at a horse race. The horse race in New York city had the most prize-money – so it was called ‘the big apple’. Over time, people started just calling New York itself ‘The Big Apple’. Nowadays, we don’t use this expression much in everyday conversation, but all native speakers understand the expression because it is used in songs, clothes brands, restaurant names etc.
A: Let’s have lunch at Big Apple Bagel today.
B: Ummm… I don’t really like fruit.
A: What are you talking about? It’s not a fruit shop. It’s a New York-style bagel shop. Their bagels with cream cheese are excellent.
Have you ever been to the Big Apple? Does Tokyo have a nick-name in Japanese?