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Swamp Speak: Cajun Terms & Phrases

January 15 2015 | Blog

You might have noticed we talk a little bit differently down here in Louisiana. Although we speak English for the most part, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll understand us. Part of the unique Cajun heritage of our swamp tour captains is the Cajun dialect. To help bring you into the loop, here is a list of some of the terms and phrases you might hear when visiting Louisiana or taking a Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour.

Cajun Glossaryswamp cabin louisiana

Andouille – A spicy sausage from Cajun country used in gumbo, jambalaya and other regional dishes

Bayou – A slow moving body of water, like the Bayou Aux Carpe that the Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour passes through

Beaucoup – French for “a lot”

Bonjour mes amis – Good day my friends!

Boudin – A Cajun pork sausage ground with rice and spices

Cher – Term of endearment for a friend or loved one

Coonass – A reference to a Cajun person which could be an insult or compliment, depending on who you ask

Down the bayou – South

Fais do do – A party or hootenanny in Cajun country

Fifolet – A bright light in the swamp said to misdirect or disorient those who try to follow it according to Cajun folklore

Gris gris – Objects used in Voodoo practice, like a charm or talisman

Lagniappe – A French term for a little something extra

Mamere – Grandmother

Rougarou – Cajun legend of a creature that transforms from a man into a wolf or dog

Roux – Base of gumbo and other stews made by heating and rigorously stirring flower and oil

Trinity – In Cajun and Creole cooking, the combination of onion, celery and bell pepper

Up the bayou – North

Zydeco – Lively Cajun music and dance, usually involving a fiddle, accordion and Cajun French singing

Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours

6601 Leo Kerner Lafitte Parkway
Marrero, Louisiana 70072

New Orleans Airboat Tours

4757 Orleans Way
Marrero, Louisiana 70072

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