She Hates Me Not

Practice Your Patois

allons – let’s go

amoureaux – boyfriend, sweetheart

bâteau – a flat bottomed boat used in marshes

beau soleil – beautiful sun

bele – girlfriend, sweetheart; beautiful, pretty

boudé – pouting like a baby

bracque – crazy

canaille – mischievous; up to no good

ça c’est bon – that’s good, it’s all good

c’est la vie – that’s life

cher – a term of endearment; sweet or dear

coullion – a fool; crazy or silly

fais do do – a dance attended by families; traditionally at a dance hall with a back room where children would “make dodo” or go to sleep (pronounced: ‘fay dough dough’)

fifolet – a swamp spirit (often seen as a blue light) which causes travelers to lose their way; according to some legends, it leads fortune hunters to the lost treasure of Jean Lafitte

fille – girl

fremeers – to feel disgusted by something (like a certain food); also the heebie-jeebies or the creeps

frisson – a shiver or chill; also goosebumps

go make groceries – go grocery shopping

gris gris – bad luck; a voodoo curse; also an object used to ward off bad luck

homme – a man

honteaux – embarrassing or scandalous

je fais serment – I promise or I pledge

joie de vivre – joy of life; a happy attitude

lagniappe – a little something extra; an unexpected bonus

ma chère, mon cher – my dear

mais – literally translates as “but”; used for emphasis at the beginning of a sentence

mais oui – but yes; used for emphasis like “oh yeah”

merci bon Dieu – thank the good Lord

misère – misery; bad luck

mon bon Dieu – my good Lord

nonc – uncle (commonly pronounced as “nonk”)

pauvre bete – poor little thing

petit – small or little

pirogue – canoe

qui c’est ca – who is that?

quoi? – what?; sometimes used like “huh?”

rougarou (also loup garou) – werewolf

roux – mixture of oil and flour heated over medium heat until a deep shade of brown; a blonde roux is a mixture of butter and flour

Saloperie! – expression of frustration like “son of a gun” or “shucks”

save the groceries – put the groceries away

SoLa – South Louisiana

T – names prefixed with T usually indicate a junior child, a namesake, or the youngest child in a family; also seen as Tee, Ti, or Tit; all are pronounced “tee”; derived from the French word petit

togué – crazy, wacky; drunk

voyou – thug, criminal

*compiled from sources including various websites, the Cajun French Virtual Table Francaise Facebook group, and Speaking Louisana: A Cajun Dictionary (1993)