Latin quarter, French quarter, etc.

Posted by Masakim on November 28, 2001

In Reply to: Latin quarter, French quarter, etc. posted by Marian on November 27, 2001

: How did such phrases come about? Are they military in origin? Do they refer to sections of cities roped off, so to speak, for particular ethnic groups, perhaps during a military occupation?

Quarter or quarters. Residence or place of abode. A district of a town or city is sometimes known as a quarter, as the poor quarter, the native quarter. The _Quartier Latin_ ('Latin Quarter') of Paris is the university area. Although popularly renowned as the cosmopolitan and Bohemian quarter, it derives its name from its ancient fame as a centre of learning when Latin was the common language for students, who came from all over Europe.
From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable revised by Adrian Room.

the French Quarter the old district of New Orleans, Louisiana. Local people sometimes call it the Vieux Carre (Old Square). It is next to the Mississippi River and includes Bourbon Street, Rampart Street, Jackson Square and the French Market. The area is popular with tourists for its jazz music, good food and buildings of Spanish and French architecture with decorative iron balconies.
From _Oxford Guid to British and American Culture_ .