Flea Market


A “flea market” is 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 even have holes in them. I think I’ll head over to the flea market 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

  • There’s been a couple flea markets in town this year, so I will be going to the next one for sure.
  • There’s a lot of junk that’s taking up space in our garage. I’ll stop by the flea market tomorrow to see if I can trade some of it away.

Note: For most of the common expressions, finding where they originated is impossible. Still, most pages on here will have a quote that can give you an idea for how old an expression is.

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