The dialect of New Orleans
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Ball- A Mardi Gras Krewe s formal event and dance
Banquett - Sidewalk--French meaning a small bank along the road
Bayou - Slow stream or body of water running through a marsh or swamp.
beaucoup crasseux- very dirty
beaux beaux- a scrape or bruise
Big Easy - The Big Easy became the official nickname for New Orleans after a contest was run years ago. Historically New Orleans has weathered primitive conditions yellow fever hurricanes floods wars - English French Indians Union -- and just plain hard living. Being a survivor was something to celebrate. In addition New Orleans is noted for its total mix of cultures that have held onto their past traditions and languages. New Orleans is also constantly celebrating! There are music festivals food festivals etc. throughout the year. The bottom line is that The Big Easy won because it fits! If it s fun tastes good sounds right - then we re all for it!
Boeuf Gras - The fatted bull; a Lenten symbol of the last meat eaten before a season of fasting
Boogalee- A Cajun
Cajun- French Acadians that settled here from Canada
Calliope Street- (The ope said like rope--no e heard) Don t ask where Cal-lie-o-pea is nobody will understand what street you re looking for!
Camelback - A single row house with the back half made into a two story.? The front section remains a single.
Captain - Leader of a Carnival organization
Carnival - The party season before Mardi Gras starts on January 6 (the Twelfth Night) (Celebrated with Kingcakes at Mardi Gras parties.)
Cher- An expression many use when greeting another... Dear Love
City that Care Forgot - A nickname for New Orleans
Court- A Krewe s King Queen Maids and Dukes
Creole- Descendents of French Spanish and Carribean slaves and natives; also come to mean any person whose ancestry derives from the mixed nationalities in the Carribean.
Crescent City- A nickname for New Orleans originating from the shape of the Mississippi River as it bends around the city
Crescent City Connection - Twin bridges connecting the Eastbank with the Westbank
Den- Mardi Gras float warehouse
Dixie - Making money in the Land of Dixie was a term used by rivermen and merchants--because $10.00 bank notes were earned and the French word for ten is Dix.
Do-do- In New Orleans it s a cute word children use when tired and sleepy (from the french to sleep = dormir)
Doubloons - Aluminum coins stamped with the parade krewe s insignia and theme
Dressed - Sandwiches served with lettuce tomatoes and mayonnaise-- the works
Fais do-do- A Cajun dance party after the children have gone to sleep (see above!)
Fat City- A region of Metairie (see below) that is a popular place to party during Mardi Gras originating from the term Fat Tuesday the literal translation of Mardi Gras
Favor- A souvenir that krewe members give to friends
Fixin to- About to
Flambeaux- Lit torches historically carried during night parades
Gallery - Balcony--walkway outside of homes on the second floor
GNO - Greater New Orleans area
Gris gris- Voo Doo good luck charm
Gumbo ya-ya- everybody talking all at once; i.e. at a loud party
Hi-rise - The elevated interstate roadway.
Hurricane Party - What some do after securing your house for a hurricane--throw a party! (If it s safe to stay that is!) Get some snacks drinks and buddies - and hunker down to watch the news give hurricane updates on TV! Hurricane is also the name of a famous New Orleans drink--be careful; they sneak up on you.
Indians- Black men who dress up in very ornate hand-beaded sequined and feathered outfits to represent their street or gang during Mardi Gras
It don madda- It doesn t matter
King Cake- Extra-large oval doughnut pastry dusted with colored candied sugar. A plastic baby doll is hidden inside the cake--the lucky person who gets the piece of cake with the doll inside (and doesn t break a tooth or swallow it in the process!) buys the next cake for the next party throughout the Mardi Gras season.
Krewe - A Carnival organization s members
Lagniappe - Something extra that you didn t pay for--thrown in to sweeten the deal--like a baker s dozen .(See mardigrasneworleans.com for more information.)
Laissez le Bon temp rouler- Let the good times roll
Lundi Gras - The day before Mardi Gras when King Rex and KIng Zulu arrive on the riverfront.
Makin groceries- Buying groceries
Mardi Gras- Fat Tuesday the day before Lent....the day to celebrate before the traditional Catholic tradition of sacrificing and fasting during the 40 days of Lent.
Maskers - Float riders & anyone dressed in costume
Metairie - A suburb of New Orleans--between the Airport and New Orleans
Muffuletta - Super-large round fat sandwich filled with salami-type meats mozzarella cheese pickles and olive salad (I challenge you to eat all of it!)
N awlins- New Orleans --It s faster that way!
nainain and parain- godmother and godfather
Neutral Ground - Median or grassy area between the paved areas on a boulevard
Ova by ma Mama s- Over by my mother s
pantry - cupboard
Pass a Good Time- Have a good time
pass the vacuum- vacuum the floor
Picayune - Small nit-picky (It was a Spanish coin worth more than a nickel and less than a dime-- 6 1/4 cents to be precise)
Pirogue - Flat-bottom canoe perfect in the bayous.
Police Jury - Similar to a City Council but has more legal authority concerning individuals
Praline - Brown sugar pecan-filled candy patty. (Very sweet and so delicious you can t eat just one! )
Shot gun - Usually part of a double --a single row house in which all rooms on one side are connected by a long single hallway--you can open the front door and shoot a gun straight through the back door without hitting a single wall...now I have no idea who has tried this or even why this is the way one describes these houses!