In the well-discussed introduction to The Miraculous Mandarin Bartók’s music depicts the stylized image of an anonymous metropolis. It is, however, very likely that Bartók referred to a specific city: the capital of Europe in the (long) 19th century, Paris. The precise geographic attribution is made possible by Bartók’s repeated use of the French term apache, referring to the three thugs. Originally the name of a group of North American indian tribes, the second meaning of the term came up at the beginning of the 20th century. It was omnipresent in French press and French cultural life at a time when Bartók, in 1905, first visited the city that impressed him so much. As Bartók began to think about the Mandarin in 1918 he chose this term, that by now had been integrated into Hungarian too, to designate the thugs adequately.