cajun sayings Louisiana

7 Common Cajun Sayings You’ll Hear In Louisiana

Visiting Louisiana? Cajun culture runs deep here; the term ‘Cajun’ first described the Acadian people of Louisiana in the 19th century. The Acadians were descendants of the French Canadians who were settling in southern Louisiana and the Lafayette region of the state. They spoke a form of the French language and today, the Cajun language is still in use across the state. You’ll likely hear some of these common Cajun sayings when you’re in the area, so here’s a handy guide to learn more about the lingo!

Cajun Sayings You’ll Hear in Louisiana

1. Envie = A longing or hunger to do or eat something

How to pronounce it: ah(n)-vee

Other Southerners might use the word ‘hankering’ where a Cajun would use ‘envie.’ “I’ve got an envie for some boudin.”

Cajun sayings

2. Honte = Embarrassed or ashamed

How to pronounce it: hont

“I drank too much and fell into the bayou. Boy, was I honte!”

Cajun sayings

3. Veiller = To spend the evening talking with friends

How to pronounce it: vay-yay

This is the Cajun equivalent of “to shoot the breeze.” “She was veiller with all her friends on the porch.”

Cajun sayings

4. Gris-gris = To put a curse on someone

How to pronounce it: gree-gree

Frequently used in jest, not as an actual reference to actual black magic! “Grandma got so mad when I ate her pie, she put a gris gris on me.”

5. Courtbouillon = Cajun stew

How to pronounce it: coo-boo-yon

A rich, spicy tomato-based soup or stew made with fish fillets, onions, and sometimes mixed vegetables.

6. Fais do-do = A Cajun dance party

How to pronounce it: fay doe-doe

“Will we see you at the fais do do?”

7. Laissez les bons temps rouler = Let the good times roll

How to pronounce it: Lay say lay boh(n) toh(n) roo lay

This saying really embraces the fun-loving vibes of Louisiana!

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

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