OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) _ Somehow, ''Blue Ribbon Burger'' doesn't quite have the same ring, but it was atop the list 17 years ago, when Esther Glickstein suggested McDonald's name its new product ''Big Mac'' instead.

Her suggestion drew laughs at first, but the name stuck. And recently, McDonald's Corp. finally said ''thank you,'' acknowledging her contribution for the first time.

Now Esther Glickstein Rose, she was a 21-year-old secretary in the company's advertising department in 1967 when a harried executive dashing to a board meeting asked her for a name nomination for the top secret new double burger with a secret sauce.

Blue Ribbon Burger was the leading candidate, and Mrs. Rose says everyone laughed when she said Big Mac.

But the phrase stuck and went on to become on of the best-known product names of all time. And Mrs. Rose, now a 38-year-old Glenview housewife and mother, went on to relative obscurity.

For years, none of her children's friends would believe that she was the one behind the name.

McDonald's hardly helped her cause, refusing to acknowledge her contribution, even though Mrs. Rose waged a campaign of letters and telephone calls.

All that finally changed when the 30th anniversary of the chain rolled around, and McDonald's decided Mrs. Rose was one of the former employees who deserved a break that day.

''I felt that because of her perserverance all these years, the fact that it really is for her kids and the fact that, yes, indeed, she did play a role in naming the sandwich, we should recognize her,'' said Jeff Olian, a McDonald's lawyer.

Mrs. Rose's reward came last month - a plaque etched with a likeness of the best-selling sandwich and french fries between the Golden Arches, and a message thanking her for the contribution.

Mrs. Rose says she never asked for money and the company never offered any.

''It's more other people who think I should get paid. But I just laugh it off. I'm just thrilled with this,'' she said, referring to the plaque.

Olian said the company also sent photocopies of the plaque so her kids ''could fold them up and keep them in their pockets.''