Learn Cajun Lingo!

Posted on: November 12, 2017 | Posted in: History

If you take a tour with us to cajun country, you'll learn the cajun dialect is a unique and sometimes incomprehensible language to native English OR French speakers. The historical language of the cajun people is "Cajun French" and while there are still those living in cajun country that speak Cajun French, the Cajun vernacular English is now widely spoken in Southern Louisiana and is heavily influenced by the French language. If you want to learn to speak like a Cajun (or at least be able to understand them!), start with these common words and phrases:

Allons [Ah-loh(n)]: Let's go.

Ça c’est bon (Sa say boh(n)): That’s good.

Ça va (Sa va): How are you? And it's also the response "I'm well."

C’est tout (Say too): That’s all.

Cher [sha]: A term of endearment usually used with women, similar to ‘dear’ or ‘sweetheart.’ 

Chevrette (she-vret): Shrimp

Cocodril (ko-ko-dree): Alligator

Courtbouillon (coo-boo-yon): A rich, spicy tomato-based soup or stew made with fish fillets, onions, and sometimes mixed vegetables.

Fais do-do [fay doe-doe]: A Cajun dance party. 

Filé [fee-lay]: Ground sassafras leaves used to season, among other things, gumbo.

Frottior [froh-twahr]: A washboard or rubboard used as a musical instrument in zydeco and Cajun music.

Gris-gris [gree-gree] To put a curse on someone. Frequently used in jest, not in reference to actual black magic.

Joie de vivre [Jhwa da veev]: Joy of living.

Lagniappe [Lahn-yop]: Something extra.

Laissez les bons temps rouler [Lay say lay boh(n) toh(n) roo lay]: Let the good times roll. With more than 400 festivals each year, this saying embraces the fun-loving nature of Louisiana.