Over the weekend, Gothamist received an email* from Barry Popik, who let us know that he had put all his New York knowlege online at barrypopik.com. And what knowledge it is: Popik, with Gerald Cohen, figured out where the nickname "The Big Apple" came from - not to mention the fact that Popik also dedicated the corner of West 54th and Broadway to be Big Apple Corner. Popik is by day a judge (parking violations!) and by night an amateur etymologist, finding out the meaning of words like knish or and contributing to the Oxford English Dictionary, American Dialect Society, Historical Dictionary of American Slang and other publications. Gothamist loved finding out that the earliest origins of the word "New Yorker" are from the 1700s. Who knew that Hizzoner originated from Chicago? Hey, Chicagoist, do you call your mayors "hizzoner"? And hooker seems to have New York origins. Only in New York, readers, only in New York...

More fun with words can be had at Word Spy.

* Barry's email also said, "Bad apples! How could you wish for something like that to your city!" referring to what we thought was our usual nonsense, in a post about the Big Apple public art project. At any rate, Gothamist assured him of our love for the city, but wanted to hold out license to be silly.