Dispatch from New Orleans – Say it Right!

Am currently in New Orleans researching a delicious travel story for the Winter 2010 issue of CF (I know it seems very far away, but we don’t have too many stretches of downtime, so we take the chance to do research when we can!).

I haven’t been here long, but I’m learning very quickly that New Orleans has its own language. It started at security in Toronto, when a stone-faced customs officer corrected my pronunciation. It’s not New Or-leens. It’s New Or-lins. Or even New Or-lee-yuns. But certainly not New Or-leeens.

But it’s not just pronunciation, there’s a whole dictionary of words you don’t hear anywhere but here. Here’s a sampling—introduce one to your family as the word of the day!

Lagniappe (lan-yap): A little something extra, like a free coffee or a dessert, or in my case, a goat-cheese and sausage potsticker with pickled green bean that came before my meal at the restaurant last night. (YUM!)

Makin’ groceries: Grocery shopping.

Pass a good time: Live it up!

Fais-do-do (fay-doe-doe): Means put the kids to sleep and party. This term was created by the Cajuns, who would bring their kids along with their blankies to celebratory gatherings. The kids would snooze while the adults ate, drank and danced through the night.

You may want to put that last one into rotation this summer.

~Megan, CF‘s managing editor and online editor

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