One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1With the. The largest settlement in a particular region, especially a metropolis, ‘the big city’.
2Generally Generally. A city; a town.
3Usually with capital initials. With the. London. In later use also denoting various other large industrial cities, especially Toronto.
Mid 19th century. From big + smoke.
big smoke/ˌbɪɡ ˈsməʊk/
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