[Dixielandjazz] Origin of "Big Easy"

Hal Vickery hvickery at svs.com
Sat Sep 24 17:32:11 PDT 2005

>From http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/64400.html :  


Nickname for New Orleans, USA.


Refers to the laid back life that jazz musicians indulged in there.

>From http://e.sinchew-i.com/content.phtml?sec=2&artid=200509070000 :

They called it the "Big Easy." The term originated with African-American
entertainers in the early 20th century.

That was their nickname for New Orleans because it was "easy" for them to
earn a living in the city, an oasis of tolerance in an otherwise racist and
segregated south.

Others tell a different story. Evidently, one of the dance halls in the New
Orleans of early 1900s had an establishment called the "Big Easy."
Travelling musicians would talk about playing the "Big Easy," just as
country musicians today might talk of playing the Grand Old Opry in

After a while, the name was "transferred to the city as a whole, referring
to the gentle pace of life and somewhat lax morals for which New Orleans is
known," according to a 1987 article in the Times-Picayune, a New Orleans

Take your pick.

Hal Vickery

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of
Schnabbels at aol.com
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 6:48 PM
To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Origin of "Big Easy"


As I am writing this, I am also listening to the night program of Dutch 
radio. It is a call-in program where people can ask any question they want
in the 
hope that someone will come up with the answer.

One question related to the origin of "Big Easy" as a nickname for New 
Does anyone know. I'd like to e-mail the radio station with, hopefully, the 
correct answer.

Robert van der Plas
Scottdale, AZ
Dixielandjazz mailing list
Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list