Faubourg - Encyclopedia




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FAUBOURG, the French name for a portion of a town which lies outside the walls, hence properly a suburb. The name survives in certain parts of Paris, such as the Faubourg St Antoine, and the Faubourg St Germain, &c., which have long since ceased to be suburbs and have become portions of the town itself. The origin of the word is doubtful. The earlier spelling faux-bourg, and the occurrence in medieval Latin of falsus-burgus (see Ducange, Glossarium, s.v. "Falsus-Burgus"), was taken as showing its obvious origin and meaning, the sham or quasi-borough. The generally accepted derivation is from fors, outside (Lat. foris, outside the gates), and bourg. It is suggested that the word is the French adaptation of the Ger. Pfahlbiirger, the burghers of the pale, i.e. outside the walls but within the pale.

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