Paname is a podcast that tries to delves into Paris’ long and complex history to try and winkle out some of the more obscure, macabre, unusual or unlikely stories about Paris and the Parisians who lived there.
Why is it called Paname? Well ‘Paname’ means Paris in a now rather dated but still used slang. It has special significance for me because when I first moved to Paris in 2001 I was grappling with culture shock, language confusion and general disorientation. I turned to music to help me learn French and about the French. One of my ‘teachers’ was Renaud a hugely popular (in the 80s) singer; through him I learnt that ‘godasse’ means shoes, ‘futal’ trousers and thanks to ‘je suis amoureuse de Paname’ that Paris was also known as Paname.
Paname became a popular word to describe Paris, according to historian Claude Dubois, following the Panama Canal scandal - a disastrous, and financial ruinous attempt to build the panama canal that saw much money lost and Gustav Eiffel imprisoned. It replaced Pampeluche, Pantin or pantrouche.