Why do we call it a Flea Market???

@Kowgirl (3492)
United States
December 31, 2007 8:29am CST
I may be the only person who questions the English language so often but some of the words that identify other things just amaze me. Yesterday we went to the Flea Market to purchase some fresh home grown food. While walinkg around we saw almost anything you could think of. I asked my friend "Why do they call it a Flea Market?" She just shrugged her shoulders and replied "I don't know" Then I got to wondering, When and where did Flea Markets get started? So help me out here Mylotters...When did they start? And why do we call it a flea market?
4 people like this
5 responses
• United States
31 Dec 07
Here's what I found on Wikipedia: The original flea market is likely to be the Marché aux puces of Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, in the northern suburbs of Paris. It is a large, long-established outdoor bazaar, one of four in Paris. They earned their name from the flea-infested clothing and rags sold there.[citation needed] From the late 17th century, the makeshift open-air market in the town of Saint-Ouen began as temporary stalls and benches among the fields and market gardens where ragpickers exchanged their findings for a small sum.
@Kowgirl (3492)
• United States
31 Dec 07
Girlgonefishing, You are a walking, talking, living, breathing encyclopedia. Thanks for the information. That is so enlightening. I am learning more every day spending time here at Mylot. Don't you just love this place? So it is true just ask and it will be answered. I have so many questions running through my head I can hardly stand it... I lost my set of encyclopedias in the hurricanes and it is driving me nuts not having them to go to when I want to know something. My friends keep telling me "You don't need to know everything" but I keep asking anyway...LOL Hope you have a very Happy and safe New Year.
@uath13 (8227)
• United States
31 Dec 07
Great answer. I'll just add that it was intended for the low end peasantry which were often prone to fleas while the upper class had their own more refined ( flea free ) markets. It was sort of a put down to call it thus. Many of our modern put downs are derived in this way ( usually not taken so lightly ). For instance Before the battle of Ashencourt the french told the english army ( composed of mostly archers equiped with yew bows ) that after the battle they would cut off the index & forefinger of every archers right hand. Doing so would have prevented them from being able to shoot their bows again. After the english won the battle & during the subsequent occupation the english taunted the french by holding up these two fingers & saying "Pluck Yew". It has now evolved into the modern one finger & saying. If you find that amusing try researching the old nersury songs like London Bridge ( which was actually about the bridge's many disasters ) or Ring around the Rosey ( about the plague ).
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 07
You are so sweet Kowgirl. I try telling all of my friends to join MyLot because there is hardly ever anything that you can ask on here (that makes sense) that you don't get an answer to from someone.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
2 Jan 08
I am not sure why they call it a flea market! but it is a very good question! Here is another one for you. Garage sales, Here, Where i live, they call them WING DINGS. WHAT THE HECK is a wing ding ? lol and where did that come from?!
1 person likes this
@Kowgirl (3492)
• United States
3 Jan 08
Hey! Sissygrl I bet if you ask someone will know. I have the faintest idea what a Wing Dind is! Garage sales and yard sales ?? I guess things you sell from your garage are called garage sales and things you put out in your yard to sale makes it a yard sale???? Who knows where those expressions came from? Or who coined them.?
@34momma (13920)
• United States
1 Jan 08
that is a great question. i am not sure why they call it that. i am going to look into that now because not knowing is going to make me nuts.
@Kowgirl (3492)
• United States
3 Jan 08
Well it was about to drive me batty, so I had to ask. Sure am glad the people in mylot are so smart...I am learning a lot from them.
• United States
31 Dec 07
I've never thought about it too much, until I saw this post. Maybe because back in the day most flea markets roamed around in a circuit of sorts. They "hopped" around from town to town, like a flea hops from dog to dog. Maybe that's why they call it that.
1 person likes this
@Kowgirl (3492)
• United States
3 Jan 08
That is a sound and logical answer. I guess now that the markets are stationary we who hop from one "Flea Market" to another would be called the "fleas"! Thanks to all you guys.
@carmelanirel (21113)
• United States
1 Jan 08
Great topic, Kowgirl, now I know why they call it a flea market.. Interesting..:)