Barry Popik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Barry Popik

Barry Popik (born 1961) is an American etymologist who is recognized[by whom?] as an expert on the origins of the terms "Big Apple", "Windy City", and "hot dog".[citation needed] He is a consulting editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America[1] and was described in The Wall Street Journal as "the restless genius of American etymology".[2]

Etymology career[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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".[3]

Political career[edit]

Popik was the Republican Party and Liberal Party of New York candidate for election as Manhattan Borough President in 2005.[citation needed] Popik received more than 40,000 votes but finished second to Scott Stringer, who received more than 200,000 votes.[citation needed] Stringer spent more than $1.5 million on his election campaign, whereas Popik spent less than $10,000.[citation needed]

Personal background[edit]

Barry Popik was born and raised in Rockland County, New York in 1961, to Silvia Stahl and Sidney Popik.[citation needed] He was educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, graduating with a B.S. in economics in 1982, and a B.S. in management[clarification needed] in 1982.[citation needed] He received a J.D. from Touro Law School in Huntington, New York in 1985.[citation needed] His passion for Munson led him to try and fail to organize an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[4]

Popik met his wife Angie Garcia, a political strategist, while running for Manhattan Borough President in 2005, the couple married shortly after that in March 2006 surrounded by friends and family at Astoria World Manor.[citation needed] Popik served as a Law Judge with the Parking Violations Bureau of the City's Department of Finance.[citation needed] Shortly after their marriage Angie and Barry moved to Austin, Texas in September, 2006 to start and family, there they had two kids.[citation needed] After 7 years in Austin the Popiks moved briefly back to New York City in May 2013, and in September 2013 to Goshen, New York.[1][5] He is also rated a chess master.[1][6]


  • 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. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26.
Consulting editor


  1. ^ a b c 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.
  2. ^ Zotti, Ed (2001-01-02). "Hot Dog! 'Big Apple' Explained" (article preview; archive subscription required). The Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Rescuing a Heroine From the Clutches of Obscurity". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  5. ^ "About the Site Editor". Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  6. ^ "USCF Member Services: Barry A. Popik". Retrieved 2014-03-07.

External links[edit]