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In Paris, you’d better know your -eries

Walking through Paris, I see many specialty shops sprinkled among the supermarches (supermarkets), clothing stores, restaurants, and bars. You need to know the kind of store you’re walking into, though, and what names will lead you to what you’re looking for. You don’t want to walk into a charcuterie if you’re looking for a screwdriver. Here are a few French store names, all feminine nouns, to keep handy in your brain.

La BIJOUTERIE, the jewelry store; la BLANCHISSERIE, the laundry; la BOUCHERIE, the butcher’s shop; la BOISSONERIE, place for drinks; la BOULANGERIE, bakery; la BRASSERIE, beer saloon or bar; la CHARCUTERIE, the pork-butcher’s shop or delicatessan; la CHARPENTIERIE. the carpentry shop or timber yard; la CHOCOLATERIE, the chocolate shop; la CONFISERIE, the candy store; la CREPERIE, the crepe restaurant; la DROGUERIE, the drug store; la EPICERIE, the grocery store; la FRIPERIE, the old clothes shop; la FRITERIE, fried fish shop; la FROMAGERIE, the cheese shop, la FUMERIE, the tobacco shop or opium den (well, that’s what one of my dictionaries said anyway); la GENDARMERIE, the police station; la HORLOGERIE, the watchmaker’s shop; la LAITERIE, dairy; la LAVARIE, launderette, la LIBRARIE, book shop; la MAROQUINERIE, leather goods store; la PAPETERIE, stationery store; la PARFUMERIE, the perfume shop; la PATISSERIE, pastry and cake shop; la PHARMACIE, pharmacy; la POISSONNERIE, fish shop; la QUINCAILLERIE, hardware store; la SALADERIE, salad place; la SANDWICHERIE, sandwich shop; la TANNERIE, hide tanning shop; la TEINTURERIE, dry cleaners; and la TUILERIE, tile works.

Some specialty stores don’t end in -erie, such as the shoe store (la boutique de chaussures), flower shop (le fleuriste), fruits and vegetables seller (le vendeur de fruits et legumes), and the clothing store (la boutique de vetements).

Many of these wonderful little shops are within a five-minute walk of my apartment. Sure, collecting items from several different shops can be quite inconvenient when compared to pulling into an Albertsons at home and buying everything in one go. But my local Rue de Montorguiel shops are cheery and intimate, elegant and aromatic: providing all that’s required for one small walking person in Paris.

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