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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



Checking the galleys for a revised edition of a Japanese-English dictionary, I came across the following sentence in the entry for 名(な):
それがためにサイゴンは「東洋のパリ」という名がついた.
This has earned Saigon the title of "Paris of the East."
The example needed revision. Though the name Saigon is still used, the official name is Ho Chi Minh City, which would be more appropriate in a dictionary example. And the present perfect--"has earned"--is probably no longer suitable.

A Google search revealed that Saigon is just one of many cities to have earned the title:
This city has had no less than seven names, but today its official name is Ho Chi Minh City, even if everyone still does call it Saigon. With wide boulevards and sidewalk cafes, the "Paris of the east" is yet another name for this cultural heart of Vietnam.

After full independence was restored in 1862, a great building boom started. Soon Bucharest became known as "Little Paris of the East."

Our last stop is Shanghai, once known as the "Paris of the East."

Cairo, sometimes known as the Paris of the East, is a major cultural and educational center, the capital of Egypt, and the largest city in Africa.

During colonial times, Dalat was a perfect holiday spot.... Sometimes nicknamed the "Paris of the East," it included all the amenities necessary for the social life of the colonial gentry.

It is not by chance that Budapest has got the names "Pearl of the Danube" or "Paris of the East"!

Some of the street scenes in Hanoi could be Paris. The French-style mansions and tree-lined boulevards help retain the city's reputation as being "The Paris of the East".

Riga, often called "Little Paris" or "Paris of the East," was the eyes and ears monitoring the USSR before WWII.

Ross Island: The erstwhile administrative headquarters of the British was referred to in the early 20th century as the Paris of the East.

Then it is on to Odessa, the most exciting port in the entire itinerary. A memorial to 18th- and 19th-century grandeur, the town has been acclaimed as the "Paris of the East" and "Pearl of the Black Sea."

BANDUNG: A pleasant 3 hour train trip from Gambir Station in Jakarta winds through the countryside and brings you to the city that has been referred to as the 'Paris of the East'.

The tawdry chaos of signs in the city's centre, the narrow alleys, the mosques in the Arab style with black and white banding in the stone - all those give Diyarbakir a foreign, frontier feeling.... Locals like to call their city "The Paris of the East" and claim its massive black basalt walls as second only to the Great Wall of China in length, breadth and height.

Warsaw was called "the Paris of the East." It had a lively theater scene that was multi-lingual (Polish, Yiddish, German, Hebrew) and hundreds of newspapers and magazines.

Discover Lebanon the Paris of the East where the warmth of the hospitality is unsurpassed.

Before the war (1975-92), Beirut was known as the Paris of the East, but after 17 years of conflict its motto is now "the city that wouldn't die."

Dresden's reputation as the ''Paris of the East'' or ''Venice on the Elbe'' owes much to this masterpiece of baroque architecture and its turreted Italian-inspired, 97-meter dome.

Irkutsk, situated 60km East of Lake Baikal, is considered as the "heart of Siberia" and the "Paris of the East". As a local writer once noted, "To miss seeing Irkutsk is to miss Siberia."

Great Russian and Western European writers, Dumas, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Lermontov and others journeyed to Tbilisi and drew inspiration from the Caucasus Mountains and the charm of the capital. Tbilisi became the Paris of the east.

I have written, more for myself than for anyone else, of those times, so that people may know what was once a great city, which used to be called Karachi, the Paris of the East.

On another page, Mr Aslam recalls how Gandhiji had once said that Hyderabad (Sindh) was the Paris of the East.

Satyajit Ray's lavish, slyly understated portrait of the British Raj is set during the mid 1850's in Lucknow, once known as the Paris of the East.

Visiting Szczecin, once called Paris of the East.

Erzurum sits in a wide flat bowl. The city's importance continued under the Ottoman Empire with the nickname of "Paris of the East."

Even today, we call Nagaland and Meghalaya the Paris of the East because whatever fashion is in vogue in Paris comes there within fifteen days.

Laoland will make the Capital Vientiane "Geneva" of Southeast Asia or Paris of the East, with many international organizations willing to locate their headquarters in the relatively quiet and slow-pace city with broad tree-lined boulevards, gentle and friendly people, low crime rate, numerous old temples and monuments to avoid hyperurbanization of cities such as Bangkok, Manila, and Jakarta.

Lahore as the capital city owes its greatness partly because of the contributions made by government college since 1864. Its reputation earned it the title of 'Paris of the East'.

Baku, the Azeri capital was the Paris of the east, with wide leafy streets and classic French architecture.

Calcutta was once a center of British culture in India, but an influx of millions of refugees from rural provinces created within this "Paris of the East" an area of slums - packed with those who lived from day to day, just trying to survive.

Danang is sometime referred to by the French as Tourlane, meaning Paris of the East.

It's the Paris of the East to some -- a congested, concrete jungle to others. Whatever you call it, Tokyo, a city of 12 million, is one of the world's largest and safest, known for its bustling streets, futuristic architecture and exotic aromas

Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is sometimes called the Paris of the East because of the hundreds of public parks and dense tree-lined streets.

With a time-honored history, Harbin is a famous city, which assembles the cultures of all ethnic minorities in North China and integrates Chinese culture with foreign culture.... It is referred to as the "Lesser Paris of the East."

Join a tour group of Ukrainian descent as they search for their cultural roots. Visit Lviv, the "Paris of the East."

But before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Kabul was known as the "Paris of the East" -- a place of where the Afghan women were free to ride the fashion wave and even wore the mini-skirt of the 60s.

But notwithstanding its apparent shortcomings, Hat Yai has evolved through the years to a brash, brassy city and has won the sobriquet of 'The Little Paris of the East'.

Few Indians -- let alone foreigners -- are familiar with the town of Siddhpur in the state of Gujarat, in western India. Those that know of the region talk of it as though it were a lost city, calling it the 'Paris of the East'.

Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia, once dubbed as the "Paris of the East" and the "peaceful oasis of Indochina".

This is a subtle-polite way to get across that coarser side of Hong Kong that, again, Chinese notions of "Face" do not wish to be talked about when discussing "the Paris of the East."

Nancy, the sixth largest city in France, and known as the "Paris of the East" was spared destruction

Discover Prague, the city of a hundred towers, with a charm all its own, that has been described as the "Paris of the East", and is now one of the prime destinations for international tourism.

Our staff greets you at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport and escorts you to your hotel. Take your trusty Lonely Planet guidebook, a Travel in Style bonus, and set out to explore this great imperial city, the "Paris of the East."

Jaipur epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana, comprehendible only on a visit to this city. The meticulously planned roads and buildings; the native women in their brilliant red and orange odhinis and sweeping ghagras; the men in their equally vibrant hued turbans and upturned long moustaches; the mesmerizing folklore and folksongs that transport you into the rich historic past; and the unique traditional arts and handicrafts, add up to a delightful journey through a city that understands the true meaning of joie de vivre, and is rightly named Paris of the East.
Shanghai got more hits than most, so for the dictionary example I changed "Saigon" to "Shanghai" and the present perfect to the simple past.

Parises of the West include Montreal, San Francisco, Abidjan, Merida, Buffalo, Denver, and Detroit.
(June 1, 2003)