The Foxes of Val-et-Châtillon: these inhabitants of Lorraine whose name is improbable

The inhabitants of Val-et-Châtillon (Meurthe-et-Moselle) are called... the Foxes.
The inhabitants of Val-et-Châtillon (Meurthe-et-Moselle) are called… the Foxes. (©Google Street View)

What are the people of your town called? In general, the name is close to that of the place in which you reside.

For example, the Messins are the inhabitants of Metz and the Nancy are those of Nancy. So far, no particular problem.

But in some cases, in Lorrainethe kindness of the inhabitants has nothing to do with the name of the town where they live. Lorraine News invites you to discover ten of them.

The Naborians in Saint-Avold

The best-known example is certainly that of the Naborianswho live in Saint-Avold (Moselle).

The town was originally named around a community that had settled at the Abbey of Saint-Nabor. The name of the inhabitants was therefore given in relation to its patron saint, Saint Nabor.

The Torlas in Vigy

Another example in Moselle: the inhabitants of Vigy are called the Torlas. No relation a priori with the name of the town.

A resident of the town, a former history teacher, gives Lorraine News one of the possible interpretations: « in the XIXe century, near Vigy station, there was a tile factory. It is said that in the local dialect, a tile was called a torlatte and the name of Torla would designate those who lived nearby”.

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Wolves in Cirey-sur-Vezouze

No, the Wolves of Cirey-sur-Vezouze is not the name of a basketball or American football team, but of the inhabitants of this commune of Meurthe-et-Moselle.

According to the book Cirey from yesterday to today of Georges Eppe, four versions exist to try to explain this name.

The first would come from the charcoal burners who lived in huts in forests populated by wolves. With their faces blackened by work and their gaze, they would have recalled the animal.

The second would find its origin in the “courageous and shady character of the inhabitants of Cirey”.

The third would come from the Fontaine du Loup, where a wolf would have come to drink before being shot.

Finally, for the fourth explanation, it would come from the fact that goats had disappeared and that the inhabitants of Cirey had been accused of having stolen them. They defended themselves by talking about the wolves that populated the surroundings. The nickname would have derived from it.

Foxes in Val-et-Châtillon

The following unusual gentleman takes us to the neighboring town, to Val-et-Chatillon. We remain in the animal domain since the inhabitants of this village of 580 inhabitants are called… the Foxes.

According to the municipality’s website, it is difficult to come up with an official explanation. However, there are two hypotheses. According to the first, the name would refer to the fox present on the tip of the bell tower of the town hall, but the building dates from the 20th century and there is no written trace linking the name to this fox.

The second version would be older: the site evokes inhabitants who would have been “cunning… like foxes” during conflicts between the municipality and their rivals.

Les Fremis in Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle

In the far south of Lorraine, at Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle (Vosges)the inhabitants are called Fremis.

The town hall of the town explains that the name is a deformation of the word « ant ». The insect has been part of the history of the town and is very present in Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle. The municipality specifies that there is no feminine for this gentile.

The Tambois in Bayecourt

The inhabitants of Bayecourt (Vosges) are named the Tambo. According to the book Nicknames and jokes from Lorraine and Bassigny written by Jean Vartier, two theories exist as to the origin of this name.

The first: “In the forest near Bayecourt, we found Merovingian tombs, wooden tombs. Was more needed for the inhabitants to be nicknamed by their neighbors the Tambois? « .

The second is that the name could be « a deformation of tambatte, the name given to the churn in this country ».

The Craonnais in Haroué

It is still a special case here: the inhabitants ofHaroue (Meurthe-et-Moselle) carry the demonym of a commune… of Mayenne.

In fact, these are called Craonnaisnamed after Craon, a Mayenne town of 4,500 inhabitants.

They take their name from the Beauvau-Craon family, who occupied the castle of Haroué. The town was even renamed Craon for a time.

The Quercussians at Sainte-Marie-aux-Chênes

Here, the name of the inhabitants seems to have nothing to do with that of the municipality, but it is in fact perfectly logical.

The Quercussiens are the inhabitants of Sainte-Marie-aux-Chênes. This construction comes from the Latin quercuswhich designates the oak, which gave the Quercussians thereafter.

Les Chayants in Andernay

In the Meusethe inhabitants of the small village ofAndernay are called the Cheating.

But to date, it has not been possible to collect any information on the origin of this name.

The Vandals in Vantoux

Finally, this top ends with a nicety that no longer exists since 2008, the new one having been adopted by citizen consultation and validated by the municipal council.

Until that year, the inhabitants of Vantoux (Mosel) were nicknamed… vandals. We can understand why they wanted to change.

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