Monday, June 14, 2010


I've never been good at clearly expressing my thoughts and on this topic, Michael will heartily agree. I can't even fathom the amount of times I've blurted out a random statement just as he walks in the door...something along the lines of "Why didn't you bring them home?". He just stares at me, and maybe chuckles before I realize that he cannot read my mind and has absolutely no idea what on earth I'm talking about.

Well, I realized today that I've done the same thing with this here blog (yes, that was meant to sound like I come from rural Pennsylvania), and in the very name of the blog nonetheless! I thought that perhaps I could illuminate you on the topic today.

It's obvious that the name "Metzing Around" is a play on the city's name but I bet that most of you don't know how Metz came to be pronounced Mess. When we were preparing to move here, we were stumped on the pronunciation of the city that we would soon be moving to. "How on earth do you pronounce "Metz" in France?" we asked ourselves. Michael (in his wikipedia-ing ways) did some research and came up with the following:

(I have no historical reference for this one, this is all based on speaking to locals and some random website that Michael found long ago which I have been unable to find again...not that I looked very hard)

The general story goes like this. Being so close to the border has led to many, many occupations by the bully neighbors to the East. Throughout those many occupations, Metz and the surrounding region became very heavily influenced by the German invaders. For centuries and centuries the town was pronounced just as you would read it, with a "t" and a "z". After one of the two world wars (both of which resulted in a German occupation of Metz) there was some understandable resentment towards the Germans. The locals, therefore, decided that instead of pronouncing the name of their fair city in the German style, that they would begin pronouncing the city as Mess and this has been true with most locals that I speak to. It has happened on many occasions though that when we are traveling outside of the area (both in Nice and Aix-en-Provence, for example) and we say we are from Mess, we get a funny look for a minute from the questioner, then their face lights up and they say "Oh, you're from Metz!".

And when I was trying to come up clever names for the blog I thought...."Metziness"..."Metzed Up"..."Metzin' With Ya"...

...and thus "Metzing Around" was born.

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