10 Jan 2012

Word plays in the Paris Metro

Playing on words, or punning, is almost untranslatable from one language to another, but visuals can help, at least when the words have the same signification in different languages. Here are a few visual puns on the names of some of the Paris metro stations.
Janol Apin set up these shots and there is a link below if you want to see more. A friend just sent them to me. French speakers will be in a better position to fully understand some of them, but I have added the occasional footnote to help the rest of you....

Gare du Nord is the metro that connects to the railway station whose lines lead to the north. We are in the Northern hemisphere.

You should manage the one above...

Ecole Militaire means Military School. This was founded by Louis XV in 1750 and looks like this above ground....no, the metro was not built by Louis XV. The tall bit in the middle is the top of the Eiffel tower, all of which lies about a mile behind.

Vincennes, on the eastern perimeter of Paris, is known for its horse-racing track.

I like this one. Pompe can mean a pump, but its other meaning is what you do before and during rugby training sessions, sometimes as punishment from the coach when you have dropped the ball. Do 20 if you haven't got it yet!

Alésia was the battle at which the Gaulois, under their chief Vercingetorix, were defeated by Ceasar. The Gaulois erected stone monuments called menhirs. Strange that they don't have a metro station called Crecy, or Azincourt, or Trafalgar, or Waterloo. Maybe I should suggest this to the authorities? Then again, maybe I shouldn't.


a "boulet" is a cannonball