List 3: Derivation of names

Names tend to be derived either from strret names or geographical areas, or else to commemorate famous personalities (who may or may not have had a connection with the locality in question). Some of these connections have not yet been established.

ALEsia. Rue d’Alésia (the Rue d'Alésia is in the city of Paris and not in the suburb served, although the Rue is fairly close to the city limit line). In history Alésia was an ancient Gaullish fortress where Vercingetorix surrendered to Julius Caesar.

ALMa. Pont de l’Alma, named after the victorious battle of Alma in the Crimea, 1854.

ANJou. Located in the Rue d’Anjou, named after the royal house of France during the feudal period (Middle Ages).

ARChives. Rue des Archives, where the National Archives are situated.

ARGenteuil. Town of Argenteuil.

AUTeuil. Pont d’Auteuil. Auteuil is a former village, annexed to Paris in 1860. From the 17th century on the Rue d'Auteuil served as a refuge for aristocratic elite, philosophers and writers escaping the turmoil of Paris.

AVIation. Serves district around Le Bourget airport.

AVRon. Small plateau in the region east of Paris.

BABylone.Rue de Babylone, named after the city of antiquity on the river Euphrates.

BAGatelle. Parc de Bagatelle.

BALzac. Rue Balzac, named after the romantic writer.

BATignolles. Bvd de Batignolles.

BELle-Epine. No information.

BERny. The name may refer to the Roman Catholic Council of Berny, held in that town in the year 580.Needs further information.

BLOmet. Rue Blomet. Needs further information.

BOIleau. Named after the writer Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux, 1636 - 1711.A poet and leading literary critic of his day, his works upheld the lassical tradition in both French and English literature. Needs further information.

BOLivar. General Simon Bolivar, tagged the liberator of Latin America, was largely responsible for the independence of five South American countries.He was President (and dictator) of the new Republic of Colombia for several years, and from 1824-1827 was President (and in effect dictator) of Peru. Why his name was used as an exchange name in Paris is unclear. Needs further information.

BOSsuet. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, a French prelate who actively fought for the rights of the French monarchy and of the French church against the demands of papal authority in Rome.The area served by the BOSsuet exchange is within the area of his bishopric.

BOTzaris. Rue Botzaris, named after Marcos Botzaris, leader of the Greek war of independence.

BREteuil, renamed BREtagne. Avenue de Breteuil. Renamed BREtagne to avoid confusion with AUTeuil.

BROssolette. Rue Pierre-Brossolette.

BUFfon.The Comte de Buffon (1707-88) was a distinguished superintendent of the Jardin des Plantes, also a very influential figure in Europe as a naturalist.

CARnot. Avenue Carnot. Lazare-Nicolas Carnot, also called Le Grand Carnot, and the "Organiser of Victory," was born 1763 in Burgundy anddied 1823 in Magdeburg, in Prussia. French soldier, statesman and administrator. A general, a military engineer, and an administrator in successive governments of the French revolution, as leader of the Public Safety Committee and of the Directory. The Avenue Carnot is one of the 12 streets which come into the Place de l'Etoile (see that exchange name).

CENtral. Central district of Paris.

CHArlebourg. Locality near Colombes.

CHEnier. André Chenier (1762-94), poet and moderate republican.Some consider him the greatest French poet of the 18th century.

CLIgancourt. Clignancourt, ancient hamlet north of Paris.

COMbat. No information.

COPernic. Rue Copernic. Nikolas Kopernik, who was born at Torun, Poland 1473and died 1543 at Frauenburg, East Prussia, is more usually known by the Latin version of his name, Copernicus. He was the first modern scientist to write that the earth rotated around the sun, rather than the other way round.It is unclear that he was ever in Paris. Needs further information

DAGuerre. Louis Daguerre, photographic inventor (1787-1851) painted a diorama at Bry-sur-Marne, served by this exchange.

DANton. Rue Danton. Georges-Jacques Danton (1759-1794) was a leader and revolutionary orator, often credited as the chief force in the overthrow of the French monarchy and in the establishment of the first French Republic (21 September 1792).He was the effective head of the French government from April to July 1793.

DAUmesnil. Pierre, Baron de Daumesnil, military general and governor of the Fort de Vincennes.

DEFense. La Défense, quarter on the west side of Paris and for centuries, little more than a small village. Named after a statue called the Defense of Paris was constructed after the war of 1870. By 1970 this district of suburban Paris had completely changed and had the largest concentration of high-rise buildings in Europe.

DIDerot. Bvd Diderot, named after Denis Diderot, writer, dramatic author and art critic, born 1713. From 1745 to 1772 he was chief editor of the huge Encyclopedie, one of the first major intellectual efforts of this type, and one of the landmark products of the French Enlightenment.His Essay on Blindness, published in 1749, was a precursor of the work of Louis Braille in the 19th century.

DORian. Rue Dorian. In Music, the Dorian mode.A Greek tribe.Needs further information.

ELYsées. Rue Champs-Élysées.The name refers to the area through which runs the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Avenue of the Elysian Fields. Needs further information.

ENTrepôt. Presumably this was a district of warehouses. Needs further information.

ETOile. Place de l’Étoile. A large plaza forming oneend of the Champs-Élysées, first constructed around 1753. Twelve imposing avenues come together here and radiate outward to form a large 12-pointed star (French = étoile). In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte constructed the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of the plaza In 1970 it was renamed the Place Charles de Gaulle.

EURope. Place de l’Europe, a star-shaped place from which six streets lead, each named after a major city of Europe.

FLAndre. Needs further information.

FLOrian. Needs further information.

FONtenoy. Place de Fontenoy. Needs further information.

GALvani. Rue Galvani. Luigi Galvani (1737-98) was the Italian anatomist who discovered ‘animal electricity’ in 1771 whilst dissecting a frog.

GAMbetta. Léon Gambetta, violent revolutionary of Italian origin who proclaimed the Republic from the Hôtel de Ville in 1870.

GOBelins. Avenue des Gobelins. Named after dye works founded in the 15th century by Jean Gobelin of Rennes. This later became the Manufacture Nationale de Tapis

GOUnod. The composer Charles Gounod (1818-93) is probably most famous for his opera Faust of 1859.

GRAvelle. Needs further information.

GREsillons. Needs further information.

GUTenberg. No street of this name in the 1er Arrondissement. Needs further information.

INF1. Informations Téléphonées.

INValides. Hôtel Royale des Invalides, built starting 1671 at the wish of Louis XIV to cater for the needs of the war-wounded.

ITAlie. No street of this name in Ivry, so it may have been named because the names have a similar sound. Needs further information.

JASmin. Rue Jasmin, named after the Gascon poet Jacques Boé, dit Jasmin, born 1798 and died 1864.

JUSsieu. Rue Jussieu, named after Bernard and Antoine-Laurent Jussieu, famous naturalists and botanists.

KELlermann. Bvd Kellermann. Needs further information.

KLEber. Avenue Kléber, named after Jean-Baptiste Kléber. Famous general, assassinated in 1800.

LABorde. Rue de Laborde.Needs further information.

LAFfitte.Rue Laffite.Needs further information.

LAMartine.Rue Lamartine. Alphonse de Lamartine, French poet 1790-1869.

LAVoisier. Antoine Lavoisier, chemist and republican who died on the scaffold (1743-94).

LECourbe. Rue Lecourbe, named after the French general Claude Jacques Lecourbe, who fought the Russians in Switzerland.

LITtré. Rue Littré. Emile Littré, man of letters, dictionary compiler and celebrated freemason.

LONgchamp. Locality in the Bois de Boulogne.

LOUvre. Ancient residence of the kings of France.

MAC-Mahon. Avenue Mac-Mahon. Patrice Mac-Mahon, of Irish origin, led a distinguished military career, with involvement on the Crimean War (1855) and the Italian campaign (1859).

MAIllot. Needs further information.

MALmaison. Malmaison is famous for its chateau, constructed for Josephine Bonaparte from 1798 onwards.

MANsart. Mansart was an architect, responsible in part for the chateau of Versailles.

MARcadet. Corruption of a locality once called La Mercade, in the commune of La Chapelle-St-Denis.

MEDeric, renamed MEDicis. Rue Médéric.Needs further information. Who or what was Médéric? In 1612, Marie de Médicis, of the Florentine family, purchased the Hôtel de Luxembourg, which later became a royal residence.

MENilmontant. Rue Ménilmontant, Ménilmontant being the name of an ancient hamlet (mesnil is a small farm).

MERmoz. Needs further information.

MIChelet. Jules Michelet, historian born in 1798.

MIRabeau. Rue Mirabeau. The Marquis de Mirabeau, born 1749, rejected his nobility after a stormy youth. He was a notable orator and held public office.

MOLitor. Marshal Molitor (born 1766) beat the Archduke Charles at Caldiero in 1805 and  defended Holland vigorously in 1813.

MONtmartre. The Rue Montmartre led from Paris to what was once the small village of Montmartre.

NATion. Place de la Nation. Ancient place of enthronement and the chief meeting place of the thoroughfares of eastern Paris.

NORd. The Gare du Nord is situated in this district.

OBErkampf. Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf, of Bavarian origin who founded the first establishment for producing printed silks. Died 1815.

OBServatoire. An astronomical observatory is located at the Chateau de Meudon.

ODEon. Théâtre de l’Odéon, opened in 1782 with the title of Théâtre-Français.

OPEra. L’Opéra de Paris was completed in 1874.

ORNano. Boulevard Ornano.Needs further information.

PASsy. Old-established quartier on the west side of Paris.

PELletan. Apparently no street of this name. Camille Pelletan (1846-1915) was active in the siege and commune of Paris, 1870-71.

PEReire. Boulevard Péreire, named after two brothers of Spanish origin. They were bankers and took an active part in the expansion of railway building in France.

PIGalle. Rue Pigalle, named after Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, statue-maker born in 1714.

PLAine. Needs further information.

POIncaré. Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) was one of the most illustrious scientists of his time.

POMpadour. The connection of Madame de Pompadour (died 1764) with this district is unclear.Needs further information.

PORt-Royal. Boulevard de Port-Royal, named after the nunnery of this name, which was transferred to Paris in 1625 and demolished in 1710.

PRIncesse. Needs further information.

PROvence. Rue de Provence.

PYRénées. Rue des Pyrénées. Mountain chain forming the natural border between France and Spain.

RAMeau. Jean-Philippe Rameau, musician.

REDoute. Needs further information.

RENan. Needs further information.

RIChelieu. Non-geographic name; the Duc de Richelieu was a cardinal, minister of Louis XIII and founder of the Académie Française.

ROBinson. Pleasure gardens opened in 1848; the name Robinson is derived from the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ style in which meals were served outdoors.

ROQuette. Ancient prisons known as la Petite Roquette and la Grande Roquette.

SABlons. Rue des Sablons, named after a sandy plain bordering on the river Seine.

SEGur. Avenue de Ségur. The Ségur family embraced a number of major diplomats, historians, writers and military figures.

SEVigne. Needs further information.

SOLférino. The Pont de Solférino and Rue de Solférino recall French  military victories in Italy.

SOS. International distress call.

STAde. Le Stade is the name of a locality within Colombes.

SUFfren. Avenue de Suffren. Pierre-André Suffren, distinguished leader in battle during the 18th century.

TAItbout. Rue Taitbout.Needs further information.

TOUrelles. Needs further information.

TREmblay. Tremblay is the site of a noted racecourse.

TRInité. Rue de la Trinité, named after the church consecrated to the Holy Trinity.

TROcadero. Place du Trocadéro, named after the battle  of 1823 in the bay of Cadiz. The name was later adopted by a building of oriental style built in 1878 and demolished in 1937.

TRUdaine. Avenue Trudaine.Needs further information.

TURbigo. Rue de Turbigo. Turbigo may well have been a battle in the Italian campaign (1859). Needs further information.

VAL-d'Or. Needs further information.

VAUgirard. Bvd de Vaugirard, the latter being an ancient locality annexed to Paris in 1860.

VERsailles. Versailles, town situated 23km distant from Paris. The chateau is famous for the residence of Louis XIV and for the treaty which concluded the First World War.

VICtor. Bvd Victor.Needs further information.

VILlette. Needs further information.

VOLtaire. Bvd Voltaire. François-Marie Arouet, dit Voltaire was a noted 18th century French writer and philosopher.WAGram. Avenue de Wagram. Wagram is the village near Vienna where the troops of Napoleon I routed those of the Archduke Charles in 1809.

Special cases

Informations Téléphonées. Noted in 1960 directory.

SOS. During the 1970s the numbers SOS 6969 and SOS 9999 were advertised as numbers for motorists to call if their car broke down.

Speaking Clock (Horloge Parlante). The Paris speaking clock was from its inception on ODÉon 8400. It was introduced in 1933, three years before that of London.


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