Can you speak Cajun?
You’re gonna want to know some Cajun terms if you would like give it a try. Get up to speed with the glossary below. Once you’re feeling good, go find Robert and take a stab at it.
Années passées [a-nee pass-ay]
Years gone by.
A slow moving stream.
French for a lot.
A fried square French donut coated with powdered sugar.
Bon ami [bon ah-mee]
Bright light used to blind prey while hunting.
A trick-taking gambling card game primarily played in Acadiana.
A crab that has recently shed its shell – a soft shell crab.
Ca c’est bon!
A vacation home.
“Get for me” or “Bring to me.”
chere (shaa, with an a as in cat)
French for dear: used by Cajuns, with their own distinctive pronunciation, as a term of endearment.
A verbal command, instructing or request asking someone to come near to “check this out.” A command to “come here.”
When Cajuns go crabbing, they try to lure a crab out of its mud hole with a piece of bacon or other bait tied to the end of a string.
“Mudbug” – Crustacean served boiled or fried.
Étouffée [ay too fay]
Smothered seafood, Cajun stew.
Fais Do-Do (fay doh-doh)
The French term literally means to “make sleep,” but in the Cajun culture, a fais do-do is a big party where dancing and festivities last long into the night. Babies sleep in a back room so their parents don’t have to leave early.
Fifolet [fee fo lay]
According to Cajun folklore, it is a bright light seen in swamp areas that is said to misdirect or disorient those who try to follow it as a perceived point of safety.
A spell using physical items, like a charm or talisman.
African word for okra, which is used as a thickening agent in a dark stew of seafood or meat, served over rice.
Well-seasoned mixture of rice, meat and vegetables cooked in one pot.
Circular yeast cake decorated with purple, yellow and green sugars and containing a plastic baby (to represent baby Jesus) served throughout the Mardi Gras season. The person who gets the baby provides the next king cake.
Laissez les bon temps rouler! [lay-zay lay bon tom roo-lay]
Let the good times roll!
According to Cajun folklore, it is the spirit of a baby who died before it was baptized and engages in mischievous trick and pranks on the living.
Make a Grocery Bill
Mardi Gras [mar-dee graw]
Fat Tuesday, the season that begins the twelfth night after Christmas and ends the day before Lent
“Me” is often used as a secondary possessive to reinforce the primary possessive noun. E.g., “I’m gone to town, me” – meaning “I’m going to town.”
A political division resembling counties in other states. Louisiana is the only state with parishes (dating back to Napoleon and a strong Catholic influence).
Pirogue [pee row]
A small, canoe-like boat.
“ain’t nuttin’ to it!”
Butterfly shrimp nets.
The process of a shrimp boat navigating up and down a bayou or waterway with its nets dropped into the water.
According to Cajun legend, it is a creature that physically transforms from a man into a wolf or dog or even a bird.
Getting into trouble; causing trouble.
A classic Cajun concoction made by blending oil and flour and cooking them together. Used in Cajun Gumbo, stews, fricassees, etc.
Sauce piquante [saws pee-kaw(n)]
Tomato base; rich stew.
Small boat for crabbing or shrimping.
Who is that? Who goes there?