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 (1961) was born and raised in Rockland County, New York. Son of Silvia Stahl and WWII Coronel Sidney Popik both deceased. Nephew of WWII Coronel Selig Popik, and grandson of the Philip Popik the founder of an Electric Company in Rockland County NY still in business today. 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. Despite his parent's wish that he focus on getting married, Popik sought to honor the memory of Audrey Munson. His passion for Munson led him to try and fail to organize an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He met his wife Angie Garcia a Political Strategist with a B.A. Degree in Political Science while running for Manhattan Borough President in 2005, the couple married shortly after that in March 2006 surrounded by close friends and family at Astoria World Manor. Barry and his wife, Angie, were long-time residents of Manhattan, where he served as a Law Judge with the Parking Violations Bureau of the City's Department of Finance. Shortly after their marriage Angie and Barry moved to Austin, Texas in September, 2006 to start and family, there they had two kids. After 7 years in Austin, Texas the Popiks moved briefly back to New York City in May 2013 and by September 2013 they opted for a more quiet life to raise their kids and moved to Upstate NY and settled in Goshen, New York. Today Barry is retired from Law Practice and instead enjoys journalist seeking his expertise on the origin of words and phrases, writing making entries to his website daily www.barrypopik.com while still enjoying quality time with his wife Angie and two kids. He is also rated a 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.
- "Rescuing a Heroine From the Clutches of Obscurity". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "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.