An interesting article just came to my attention from the Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog in which the origins of the phrase “New York Minute” are analyzed and found to have not originated in the City at all.
The earliest attestation for “New York minute,” listed in the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), is also from Texas, from 1967. But although the expression may owe its current level of familiarity to Texas, the expression may be older – MUCH older; and probably not from Texas. Although the written record is very sparse, the expression, a “New York minute,” appears in print at a rate of about once every forty years, or so, dating back to 1870.
The full article is a quick an interesting read for anybody into etymology and phraseology.