Barry Popik

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Barry Popik

Barry Popik (born 1961) is an American etymologist. Popik is a consulting editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America[1][dead link]and was described in The Wall Street Journal as "the restless genius of American etymology".[2]

Early life and education[edit]

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]


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] Popik served as a Law Judge with the Parking Violations Bureau of the City's Department of Finance.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Popik met his wife Angie Garcia, a political strategist, while running for Manhattan Borough President in 2005. The couple married shortly afterward and moved to Austin, Texas in September, 2006, and had two children.[citation needed] After 7 years in Austin, the Popik family moved back to New York.[citation needed]


  • 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. ^ Brick, Michael (2010-11-26). "Etymologist Barry Popik's word quest takes him from 'Big Apple' to 'Dallas'". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2017-03-17. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  2. ^ Zotti, Ed (2001-01-02). "Hot Dog! 'Big Apple' Explained". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2022-04-12. Retrieved 2022-07-28.
  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.

External links[edit]