Throughout Louisiana, nothing makes you sound like an “outsider” than the mispronunciation of people’s last names, road names, town names and your inability to understand all the sayings you’ve never heard before! You might as well wear a sign that states “You’re not from around here.” Over the years there are some sayings and names I’ve learned that I would like to share with my fellow transplants.
What’s in a Name?
When meeting people of our awesome Parish, you’ll meet many with last names you’ve never seen before and the pronunciation will really trip you up. (Hooked on phonics rules defiantly do not apply)
Robert- Pronounced Row-BEAR this one is tricky only because if you are referring to the town of Robert it’s still said the way we foreigners know.
St. Amant- San-AmA
Robicheaux- Robe-a-shay I’ve seen this spelled a few different ways.
Aucoin- Oak-wan, This one really throws me for a loop. I still can’t figure out how those combination of letters make that pronunciation.
Hebert- A-Bear- Yep, the “H and T” aren’t even used when saying this name.
Richard- REECH-ard This one always throws me for a loop.
These are just a few that have tripped me up, and I wanted my fellow transplants to make notes so you don’t get the hairy eyeball when you go and try to say one’s last name.
Louisiana saying’s I had never heard before I moved here.
“I can’t call it” example- “How’s your day man?” “I can’t call it”
“Make Groceries“- Going to the store and get food to fill your pantry and refrigerator.
“Lagniappe“- Pronounced, LAN-Yap..It means anything
“Come See“- Which means come over here and do this thing for me that I either don’t know how to do or don’t want to do.
“Sha“- I’ve heard this from mostly women. It’s a term of endearment for something precious and adorably cute.
“Catch a beating“- “I’d rather catch a beating than clean out my garage again” (This is a personal favorite of mine, it always makes me laugh”
“Icebox“- It’s a refrigerator! I thought for a long time it was just a separate freezer, but it refers to the whole refrigerator not just the freezer part.
“Dressed“- If you want to order a sandwich they are going to ask you “How do you want it dressed?” meaning, what extras do you want on your sandwich?
Pirogues- Pronounced PEE-Rows. It’s a type of flat-bed fishing boat that many Louisiana natives have.
Boudin- Pronounced Boo-DAN. A Cajun sausage made with pork, rice and spices.
This just touches on some of the funny words, names and expressions you will come across when moving here. It’s what makes our area so rich with interesting people and dialect. Everyday I’m thankful to be here and enjoy all these little idiosyncrasies, and I know that I have more to learn from the local natives.
Just know one more thing! People around here love their football, and whenever they are rooting for a team they spell “Go” as “Geaux,” and when they are speaking of the LSU Tigers they say “L. S. SHOE” I got this wrong for years and was teased by my coworkers for my pronunciation.
I hope this helps you when you are out in our fine Parish, and perhaps you won’t hear “You ain’t from around here, are you?”
“Because YOU Matter”
Your Real Estate Whisperer