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In Asterix The Gaul, there is a Roman soldier who runs off to fetch a superior, and his name is mentioned as Caius Marchéopus. What is the exact pun being performed here?

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Not to be confused with his (quite itchy) pal Sacapus ! Great, now I feel the urge to go and reread some of Asterix... my boss doesn't thank you. –  Romain VALERI Apr 10 at 13:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Marché aux puces.

A marché aux puces is a "flea market".

The phrase is similar in both languages, "flea" being a puce in French. I doubt the two phrases originated separately and Wikipedia suggests it was used first in French. The phrase is the same in many other European languages (Italian, German, Danish, Portuguese…) and it states also it comes from the French marché aux puces.

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It comes from the town of Saint-Ouen, at the door of Paris. Many peoples were selling old clothes and old varied objects there to the poors of Paris. They didn't have the right to do it in Paris intra muros.

Today, the Saint-Ouen's flea market is known across the world for antiquities.

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