Flea Market

Meaning:

A type of bazaar where inexpensive goods are sold or bartered. It’s typically located outside.

​Example: My clothes are getting old. Some of my shirts and pants have holes in them. Yeah, I think it’s time for some new clothes. Since there’s a flea market in town, maybe I’ll go there later today to see if they have any cheap, nice looking clothes for sale.

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
Farmer’s market
Flea fair
Garage sale

The Origin Of ‘Flea Market’

A flea market is a place where things are sold; it has a wide variety of items available. There are things such as fresh foods, worn clothes, furniture, and much more. People go to these markets to exchange goods, either by buying, selling, or even bartering for an item.

Alright, so it’s like a market, but what’s with the “flea” part? Well, flea markets are oftentimes located outdoors and in large fields, or perhaps under big tents. Since they take place outside, it’s possible for little insects like fleas to be there walking or buzzing around. They can get on the items being sold and also the people who are attending.

With that in mind, according to Wikipedia, one of the theories as to where this phrase originates from is the French ‘marché aux puces’, which literally translates to ‘market where one acquires fleas.’

One of the oldest and most popular flea markets is located in Paris, France, and it has held the name Les Marché aux Puces (The Flea Market) since around the 1870s. Thus the term is at least that old.

Hey, uh… is anyone else itchy? Only kidding! *scratches*


Example Sentences

  1. There’s been a couple flea markets in town this year, so I will be going to the next one for sure.
  2. There’s a lot of junk that’s taking up space in our garage. I’ll be stopping by the flea market tomorrow and I’ll try to sale some of it, but if that doesn’t go as planned, then I guess we could also just have a garage sale.

Note: For most of the common expressions, sayings, and idioms, finding where they originated exactly is nearly impossible. Normally what’s provided is around the oldest time a phrase was recorded in a book, poem, or play. Sometimes, there will be an early printed use of a phrase in an old newspaper, which will often be quoted to give you an approximate age for the saying.
 
However, it should be noted that if a certain idiom is being used in a form of media, like a newspaper, then it’s probably already a commonly known saying, thus, it should be assumed that the phrase origins are probably from an older time.