7 Common English Words That Are Simply Better When Spoken Through Cajun Vernacular
We certainly have a way with words here in Cajun Country.
I can't imagine how many words are in the English dictionary, but there are a few of them that carry a lot more meaning when they are spoken by residents here in our local region. I'm not talking about phrases or sayings that are unique to our area (i.e. "get down" at the store or "pass" by your house), I'm talking about those words that simply pack a lot more punch when spoken through creole/cajun lips.
Allow me to explain with the following list of words.
Everywhere Else: Boy
In Cajun Country: BAW
"Baw" has taken on a life of its own here in Acadiana. It can be used to describe a male human being. Example: "That baw came to my house and got stuck in the ditch." It can also be used in the place of the expression "Oh, boy!" Example: "Aww, Baw!" We've seen it referenced through countless memes and it should also be noted that the female version ("guh") is just as popular and interchangeable depending on gender.
Everywhere Else: Mouth
In Cajun Country: MOTT
We eat with it. We speak through it. Even animals have them. Our mouths play a huge part in our daily lives, but unless you have perfect teeth or an insanely bright smile, mouths are pretty boring. Now a "Mott"—that's something that will get some attention. "Look at that mott!" will turn heads instantly. "Stop messing with me or I will punch you in the mott!" will stop anyone in their tracks.
Everywhere Else: Funky
In Cajun Country: FONKY
I'm giving credit to one of my colleagues If someone describes your clothing style as funky, there may be a compliment laced somewhere within their statement. If someone describes your clothing style as FONKY, you may want to head to the mall and get a new wardrobe. While words like bad, lame, wack, etc. can get the job done, none of those words come close to the impact of FONKY.
Everyone Else: Fart
In Cajun Country: FOT
This is definitely more on the sorta NSFW side of our list, but everyone does it, right? Passing gas is something that we all deal with in one way or another, but can you honestly tell me that "fart" sounds nearly as gnarly as "fot?" The latter even sounds like it would smell worse. You tell me what sounds better: "Who farted?" or "Who fot?" Exactly. Point proved.
Everywhere else: Golly
In Cajun Country: GAHHH-LEE
By definition, the word golly means to express surprise or delight, but somewhere along the way, Cajun people stretched out each of the two syllables to take that expression to the next level. Try it out for yourself, and tell me which one sounds more exciting.
Everywhere else: Little
In Cajun Country: LIL
Now this one could easily be defined as southern slang, but the context of "lil" that I'm here to describe doesn't just mean a shorter version of "little." What I'm talking about is the way we use "LIL" in our culture to sprinkle a little bit of condescending tone on whatever we're describing. For example, "when is ya lil girlfriend supposed to be coming over?" or "you think your lil car can make it to New Orleans?" When used properly, this "lil" word can cut deep.
Everywhere else: I'm lying
In Cajun Country: AH-LIE, AH-LIE, AH-LIE
This one was brought to my attention by a friend and I literally laughed out loud when he said it because it's so true. For whatever reason in Cajun Country, when we make an innocent mistake we quickly say "I LIE" multiple times in a row before correcting ourselves. Example: "There are 3 lbs. of crawfish in the pot...I LIE, I LIE, I LIE, there are 5 lbs. of crawfish, my bad!"
Like I stated at the beginning of this story, it's hard to argue with facts—and the fact is, we simply do things better down here in south Louisiana.
If I missed any words, please feel free to add them by commenting and be sure to share this with any and all friends who will appreciate a little lesson in Cajun vernacular.