Posts Tagged ‘fly market’
Most of us shop at stores or markets without giving much thought to the name of the location. One of the most popular is the Flea Market but I have always been curious why it is called that since you can’t buy fleas there. A little research reveals an unclear origin with several possible contenders for the origin of the name but the bottom line is that we can’t say for certain where it actually began.
The most accepted beginning for the term comes from a 1860s era market in Paris, France. The name of the bazaar was the Marche aux Puces which literally translates to Market with Fleas. Apparently, the market earned its name from the bug infested goods that were rumored to sell there.
Another theory is that during the time of Napoleon III, some changes in the city streets were made in order that the military could march and move unhindered. Many of the dealers in second hand merchandise were forced to flee from their older housing. The merchants gathered in a new location which was referred to as the Flee Market, and the term morphed into Flea Market.
Still another theory is that the Fly Market in 18th century New York City began the association with the terminology. It seems that the Dutch referred to the market as vlie which translates to valley. The word was pronounced as flea and thus began the tradition of referring to that style of bazaar as a “flea market”.
|The origin of the term is obscured in the past but it has come to refer to a market that rents space to anyone with products or services to sell to the public. Some flea markets are permanent indoor establishments while others are outdoor markets that are held at regular intervals and draw a large number of vendors and shoppers. Most of these bazaars offer items that are rare or not common in traditional retail outlets. We all know what a flea market is even if the term does not have a firm definition.|
Tags: 1860s flea market, 18th century market, Cultural History, dutch flea market, fly market, history of flea markets, history of the bazaar, History Today, Marche aux Puces, Napoleon III, New York City flea market, origins of the flea market, Paris flea market, vlie market