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[citation needed] and was described in The Wall Street Journal as "the restless genius of American etymology".[1]

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 freelance 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 contributed his independent research to the 2011 edition[2] of Professor Gerald Cohen's original 1991 monograph[3] on the etymology of "Big Apple" — that it was first popularized in the 1920s by sports writer John J. Fitz Gerald — which led to the New York City street corner where Fitz Gerald lived being renamed "Big Apple Corner" in 1997.[4]

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] He received more than 40,000 votes and finished second to Scott Stringer, who received more than 200,000 votes.[citation needed] Popik was 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. They married shortly afterward and moved to Austin, Texas, in September 2006, and had two children.[citation needed] After seven years in Austin, the 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.


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Cohen, Gerald Leonard (2011). Origin of New York city's nickname "The Big Apple". Barry A. Popik (2nd revised and extended ed.). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-631-61386-3. OCLC 695283049.
  3. ^ Cohen, Gerald Leonard (1991). Origin of New York city's nickname "The Big Apple". Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang. ISBN 3-631-43787-0. OCLC 23766305.
  4. ^ "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.

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