A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead” (5/22)
“A small carafe of wine is illogical, immoral and inadequate” (5/22)
“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again” (5/21)
“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance” (5/21)
“Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving” (5/21)
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Entry from July 25, 2004
Johnny Pump
A "Johnny Pump" is a fire hydrant. It's a name that I don't hear much anymore.

I found it first in the following novel, which is full of "classic" New York speech.


Call It Sleep
by Henry Roth
New York: The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
1991, eleventh printing 1996
(Originally published in 1934)

Pg. 87:
They marched cross the street in single file and stopped before a tall hydrant.

"Jump on Johnny Pump!" commanded Sidney leaping up on the two stumpy arms of the fire-plug.

Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 25, 2004 • Permalink