From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Pétanque (Template:IPA-fr; Template:Lang-oc Template:IPA-oc) is a form of boules where the goal is, while standing inside a starting circle with both feet on the ground, to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack. It is also sometimes called a bouchon (literally "cork") or le petit ("the small one"). The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel, but can also be played on grass, sand or other surfaces. Similar games are bocce and bowls.
The current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, in Provence, in southern France. The English and French name pétanque comes from petanca in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression pès tancats Template:IPA, meaning "feet together"<ref>Marco Foyot, Alain Dupuy, Louis Almas, Pétanque - Technique, Tactique, Etrainement. Robert Laffont, 1984.</ref> or more exactly "feet anchored".