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CAJUN WORDS AND PHRASES


THESE ARE SOME WORDS USED BY CAJUNS THAT MAY PROVE USEFUL IN UNDERSTANDING OUR UNIQUE HERITAGE!

Andouille (ahn-do-ee)A spicy country sausage used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.


Bayou (bi-yoo)The streams crisscrossing Louisiana.


Beignet (ben-yea)Delicious sweet doughnuts, square-shaped and minus the hole, lavishly sprinkled with powdered sugar.


Bon Appetite! (bon a-pet-tite')Good appetite - or "Enjoy!


Boudin (boo-dan)Hot, spicy pork mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs, and stuffed in sausage casing.

Bourre'(boo-ray) A card game invented by Cajuns.


Cajun (cay-jun)Slang for Acadians, the French-speaking people who migrated to South Louisiana from Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century. Cajuns were happily removed from city life preferring a rustic life along the bayous. The term now applies to the people, the culture, and the cooking.

Cher(sha) someone you're fond of.

Chicory (chick-ory)An herb, the roots of which are dried, ground; roasted and used to flavor coffee.

Couche-Couche(coo-sh coo-sh) A cajun cornmeal cereal eaten with milk


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


Crawfish (craw-fish)Crawfish, sometimes spelled "crayfish," resemble lobsters, but are much smaller. Locally, they are known as "mudbugs," because they live and grow in the mud of freshwater bayous. They can be served many ways: In etouffees, jambalaya, gumbos or, simply boiled.


Creole (cree-ol)The word originally described those people of mixed French and Spanish blood who migrated from Europe or were born in Southeast Louisiana and lived as sophisticated city or plantation dwellers. The term has been expanded and now refers to a type of cuisine or a style of architecture. Dirty Rice Pan-fried leftover cooked rice sauteed with green peppers, onion, celery, stock, liver, giblets and/or many other ingredients.


Etoufee (ay-two-fay)A succulent, tangy tomato-based sauce. A smothered dish usually made with crawfish or shrimp and then smothered with a vegetable and herb sauce. Crawfish and Shrimp etouffees are New Orleans and Cajun country specialties.


Fais do do (fay-doe-doe)The name for a party where traditional Cajun dance is performed. This phrase literally means "to make sleep," although the parties are the liveliest of occasions.


File (fee-lay)Ground sassafras leaves used to season, among other things, gumbo.

Gris-gris(gre-gre) An object used to ward off evil, or inflict evil


Gumbo (gum-boe) A thick, robust soup sometimes thickened with okra or file'. Based with a roux and made with shrimp or seafood, chicken or duck, okra and file`.


Jambalaya (jum-bo-lie-yah)Louisiana chefs "sweep up the kitchen" and toss just about everything into the pot. A rice dish with any combination of beef, pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham, or seafood, as well as celery, green peppers and often tomatoes and spices.


Joie de vivre (zhwa-d-veev)An attitude towards life.


King Cake...A ring shaped oval pastry, decorated with colored sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple, green, and gold, which represent justice, faith, and power. A small plastic baby is hidden inside the cake. Tradition requires that the person who gets the baby in their piece must provide the next King Cake.


Lagniappe (lan-yap)This word is Cajun for "something extra," like the extra donut in a baker's dozen. An unexpected nice surprise.


Laissez les bon temps roulet (lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay )Let the good times roll!


Mardi Gras (mardi graw)Commonly known as Fat Tuesday, it is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Roman Catholic season of Lent. It's also the day of the Biggest free Party on Earth!


Mirliton (mel-e-taun)A hard-shelled vegetable pear , it is cooked like squash and stuffed with either ham or shrimp and spicy dressing.


Muffuletta (muff-a-lotta)This huge sandwich is made up of thick layers of several different types of Italian meats, cheeses, and a layer of olive salad. Served on special seeded Muffuletta bread, one-half of this monster sandwich is enough to feed a grown man or woman.


Po-Boy...A sandwich extravaganza that began as a five-cent lunch for poor boys. Always made with French bread, po-boys can be filled with fried oysters, shrimp, fish, crawfish, meatballs, smoked sausage and whatever else you desire.


Praline (praw-leen)...The sweetest of sweets, this New Orleans tradition is a candy patty made of sugar, cream and pecans.


Red Beans & Rice...The traditional Monday meal in New Orleans, red beans are cooked with ham or sausage and seasonings, and served over rice.

Traitier...someone practicing folk medicine.


Vieux Carre (voo ca-ray)French, meaning "old quarter," and referring to the French Quarter.

Visite( vee zeet) a visit


Zydeco (zi-de-co)A relatively new kind of Cajun dance music that is a combination of traditional Cajun dance music, R&B, and African blues.


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