Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where Does the Term "Flea Market" Originate?

Many of you probably already know where the term "Flea Market" originated but I did not.  Last night, at the dinner table, we began discussing our planned trip to the "Fancy Flea" in Lakeland, FL on November 12th and someone asked "Why do they call them Flea Markets?  Do they sell fleas?"

Now,when I was growing up, if we wanted to know the answer to that, we'd have to go the library to look it up (or walk over to my grandma's house to borrow the encyclopedia).

Now, we just reach for our phone, punch a button and say
"Search Flea Market Term Origination".

Up pops all the answers we could ever want.  Is life too easy or what??

Turns out, the most likely explanation is that the term originated in Paris around 1922.

Here is the explanation according to Oxford Dictionary:
Flea market comes from the French marché aux puces, a name originally given to a market in Paris which specialized in shabby second-hand goods of the kind that might contain fleas. The earliest English use that the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary has found dates from 1922.

And so the answer to my son's question is "yes", I guess they do sell fleas at flea markets.  But I'm hoping to get something a little better than fleas...if nothing else, I'm hoping for great ideas!

Fancy Flea Market
Lakeland, FL
November 12, 9 to 4

1 comment:

  1. LOL so interesting, yet disturbing! I read the description to my bf, leaving out the french part, as he is french he said the french name for it right away. :P


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