Barry Popik (born 1961) is an American etymologist who is recognized as an expert on the origins of the terms "Big Apple", "Windy City", "hot dog", and many other food and slang terms; he is a consulting editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and was described in The Wall Street Journal as "the restless genius of American etymology".
Popik is a contributor-consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, Dictionary of American Regional English, Historical Dictionary of American Slang, and The Yale Book of Quotations. He is recognized as an expert on the origins of the terms "Big Apple", "Windy City", "hot dog", and many other food and slang terms; he is a consulting editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed Zotti described him in The Wall Street Journal as "the restless genius of American etymology".
Popik's theory on the etymology of Big Apple—that it was first popularized in the 1920s by sports writer John J. Fitz Gerald—led to the New York City street corner where Fitz Gerald lived being renamed "Big Apple Corner".
Popik was the Republican Party and Liberal Party of New York candidate for election as Manhattan Borough President in 2005. Popik received more than 40,000 votes but finished second to Scott Stringer, who received more than 200,000 votes. Stringer spent more than $1.5 million on his election campaign, whereas Popik spent less than $10,000.
Barry Popik was born in 1961 and raised in Rockland County, New York. He was educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, graduating B.S. (Economics) in 1982, B.S. (Management) 1982; and in 1985 he graduated J.D. from Touro Law School in Huntington, New York. He and his wife, Angie, were long-time residents of Manhattan, where he served as a New York City administrative law judge in the Parking Violations Bureau of the City's Department of Finance. The Popiks moved to Texas in 2006. He is a rated chess master.
- Cohen, Gerald Leonard; Barry A. Popik (1999). Studies in Slang: Part VI. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. ISBN 0-8204-4377-8. OCLC 62059348.
- Cohen, Gerald Leonard; Barry A. Popik (2006). Studies in Slang: Part VII.
- Consulting editor
- Smith, Andrew F. (2004). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517552-3. OCLC 53476629. (Senior Consulting Editor)
- Shapiro, Fred R., editor (2006-10-30). The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10798-2. OCLC 66527213. (Consulting Editor)
- Brick, Michael (2010-11-26). "Etymologist Barry Popik's word quest takes him from 'Big Apple' to 'Dallas'". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- Zotti, Ed (2001-01-02). "Hot Dog! 'Big Apple' Explained" (article preview; archive subscription required). The Wall Street Journal.
- "Mayor Giuliani signs legislation creating "Big Apple Corner" in Manhattan" (Press release). New York: Mayor's Press Office. 1997-02-12. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- "About the Site Editor". www.barrypopik.com. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- "USCF Member Services: Barry A. Popik". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- Sheehan, Susan; Howard G. Means (2002). The banana sculptor, the purple lady, and the all-night swimmer: hobbies, collecting, and other passionate pursuits. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0122-3. OCLC 49407923.