Dialect, shmialect


I wrote an email to a friend earlier this week to let her know I would pass by when I got off of work. Her response included a jab at the term pass by; she said I have been in Rayne too long.

Ooohhh how I love terminology.

By no means was her intent mean. It just made me giggle at how I didn’t think twice when I wrote it. Our everyday terms here are uncommon even in New Orleans. My best friend of 10 years is from the Hammond area. We were roommates in college and our first trip to the grocery store sparked the first questionable term. I asked her if she was going to get down. She looked at me with a blank face. I thought she didn’t hear me, so I repeated the question.

“What does that mean?” she asked.

“Uumm. Are you coming into the store?”

“Yeah. I’ve just never heard that phrase before.”

The same thing happened the first time we used our dishwasher. I asked who should save the dishes first. From that moment on, any time she gave me the puzzled look, I knew there was a phrase we needed to discuss. I mean she had never heard of “cher bebe”!

Jon and I have these conversations frequently, although he had more exposure as a child when he would visit his family so he wasn’t completely shocked when he moved here.

I find it originally endearing. For as many large vocabulary words I throw around, at heart sometimes I still “talk like dat.”

I know there are tons of other unique slang words and phrases we use here. SO feel free to share them here. Maybe we can come include them in a Cajun Slang Dictionary. lol.

For you say tomato, I say tomato. It’s all the same!

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8 Comments

  1. Ooo, I can relate entirely too much with your story. I moved back to Louisiana when I was 12, and even visits with my grandparents in Opelousas couldn’t prepare me for what I heard in Mire and Rayne.

    Reply
  2. Gelle

     /  June 17, 2010

    you know mr larry was the same way when he and mom got together. when she would say “save” the dishes he would say “well whats wrong? are they in trouble?” and “get down” at the store he replied with “i didnt know that people dance in the parking lot.” its crazy how different cultures have different slang however, i like our “Cajun Slang” the best.

    im glad that you are writing more frequently because i love reading what you have to say. i check aunt Viki and your blogs FIRST THING every morning! Love you L-C!

    Reply
  3. Aimee G

     /  June 17, 2010

    Elise! I just wanted to drop by and say I very much enjoy creeping on your life! I don’t comment (which is way creeperish), but I find myself reading every now and then. I can see life is treating you well, even if it’s not how you envisioned it.

    I wanted to add a South Louisianism of my own. This was something I never realized was “wrong” until it was pointed out to me, but “come see” is something that I grew up saying that the rest of the world doesn’t say. As in, “Come see what your daughter did now!”

    Reply
    • leecee

       /  June 18, 2010

      Aawww Aimee! I’m so glad you find the time to read my thoughts. We should get together and have lunch soon. I would love to hear about what you’re doing!

      As for the “come see”; I REALLY like that one and use it often. Especially when trying to coax someone to give me a smooch. lol. I think I am revealing too much on this thing.

      Well I hope to keep in touch and that I can continue to interest you. But really, let’s get together:)

      Reply
      • Aimee G

         /  July 1, 2010

        I’m doing absolutely nothing interesting with my life right now but would still love to get together with you! Give me a call (225.806.3008) one day when you’re in Lafayette and available.

  4. I grew up saying “come see!” I had no idea that the rest of the world didn’t say that until I told my 9th grade students to “come see.” I would always get a crazy look from the student who I’d spoken to, and I didn’t understand why I had to tell them 2 or three times to come see before they came. Eventually, I figured out that I was the weird one.

    Reply
  5. leecee

     /  June 18, 2010

    I guess it makes me wonder, what is the proper term? To come here? Take a look, see? When you are so accustomed to saying something how do you transition? And should you?

    Reply
  6. Kayla

     /  June 18, 2010

    Leecee! I miss you sugarpants.. Phones be damned, if this is the only way we can communicate, so be it.

    Shortly after we moved to OK someone asked me how old Remy was, I responded that she “made” 3 in August.. I got teased for awhile on that one.. I never even thought twice about it before that day.. Lol.
    Come see is definitely a big one too.

    I confess that the first time I heard someone say save the groceries I giggled. That’s not a big one in Houma.

    Reply

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