Stories from the generations of my family and of my life in this crazy world.
Cajun French Language Dictionary
Cajun French is different from the language spoke in France. The Acadians migrated from France over 300 years ago. Just as Americans speak English differently after being separated from England for hundreds of years, the same is true of the Acadians. French Cajuns and French citizens can understand each other, but with difficulty.
Sugie Bee’s Cajun French language dictionary is a work of my heart, to try and preserve the language and culture of my ancestors. Please contact me at SugieBee@gmail.com with any additional Cajun words or phrases you like to see added to this list.
Sugie Bee's Cajun French Language Dictionary
A bon couer
To do something wholeheartedly.
A cleverly disguised insult.
of course not
pronounced “ar-man-deen” fish or seafood served with a lemon butter sauce and topped with toasted, slivered almonds
pronounced “ahn-doo-wee” A spicy country sausage used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.
a slow moving river or stream
a little monster or critter
pronounced “bin-yey” sweet square-shaped doughnut sprinkled with powdered sugar.
snail or escargot
pronounced “bisk” A rich, thick creamy soup usually made with crawfish or shrimp.
a cooking method. To blacken fish or meat by coating it with spices and quickly searing in butter.
a good for nothing or lazy man
Bonjour Mes Amis
Good day my friends.
Bonne a rienne
a good for nothing or promiscuous woman
a term of endearment such as sweetie, or darling
to be angry
pronounced “boo-dan” Spicy pork sausage made with onions, cooked rice and herbs.
pronounced boo-ray, A card game invented by Cajuns.
a baked dessert made from French bread soaked in custard, and usually served with whiskey sauce.
Ca c'est bon
How is it coming?
Cafe au Lait
pronounced “caf-ay-oh-ley” A half-and-half blend of strong chicory coffee and steamed milk.
The back of a truck.
pronounced "cay-jun" French-speaking people who migrated to Louisiana from Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century.
sly or sneaky
A sweet syrup extracted from Sugar Cane. Used on French waffles, and in Pecan Pie.
That is great!
Chambre a bain
chambre a coucher
Get away cat!
A Cheetos type snack made by the Elmers company in New Orleans.
endearment used for someone you're fond of
An herb, the roots of which are dried, ground; roasted and used to flavor coffee.
an adjective for large
Commes les vieux
like the old people
wow! look at that!
A cajun cornmeal cereal eaten with milk
tomato based soup with onion and bell pepper
An ignorant person
small freshwater crustaceans resembling lobsters
dessert made with rich custard and topped with a layer of hard caramel.
People of mixed French, Spanish, Indian or Negro blood
Recipies derived from French, Spanish, Indian and African cooking techniques. Commonly using complex sauces and involved preparation.
Spicy mustard made in South Louisiana using marinated mustard seeds.
big, old and clunky shoes
a spell put on someone
Deep Fried Turkey
The Cajun way to cook turkey. The bird is deep fried by being totally immersed in a pot of cooking oil.
a sainted (godly) dead person
dear departed Sainted Dad
dear departed sainted woman
anything or anyone who is a mess
cooked rice that is sautéed with ground meat, green peppers, onion, and celery.
Dit mon la verite'!
tell me the truth. Response when told something unbelievable.
Down the Bayou
junkor trinkets or little value
stuffing, or a side dish for a meal.
En bouts des dents
to eat something you find distasteful
to be in mourning
pronounced “ay-two-fay” A succulent, tangy tomato-based sauce usually made with chicken, crawfish or shrimp and then smothered with a vegetable and herb sauce.
Faire des commissions
buy groceries, making grocery bill
Fais do do
pronounced “fay-doe-doe” The name for a party where traditional Cajun dance is performed. Or to go to sleep.
Fait pas une esquandal
Don't make so much noise
large black Grasshopper
dried, powdered sassafras leaves used as a thickening agent in Gumbo
grossed out by something
that's the truth
to be excited, to or in awe.
old fashioned sun bonnet
Big clumsy man
food stuck at the bottom of the pot
pronounced “grah-tawns” cracklins or fried pork rind
pronounced “gree-yahds” beef or veal steak, browned, then simmered until tender in browned tomato sauce.
pronounced “gre-gre” An object used to ward off or inflict evil
pronounced “gum-boe” A thick, soup based with a roux and sometimes thickened with okra or file.
He's got the cabris
He has a wedgie
honey child, an endearment
It is raining
J'ai gros couer
to feel like crying or I have a big heart
pronounced “jum-bo-lie-yah” A rice dish with chicken, smoked sausage, ham, or seafood, as well as celery, green peppers and often tomatoes and spices.
Je vas te passe une calotte
to threaten to slap a person
Joie de vivre
An attitude towards life.
A oval shaped pastry, sometimes stuffed with fillings and decorated with colored sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors.
pronounced “lan-yap” An unexpected nice surprise. like the extra donut in a baker's dozen.
Laissez les bon temps roulet
pronounced “lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay” Let the good times roll!
Mais, jamais d'la vie!
Well, never in my life!
Make a bahbin
Make the misere
to cause trouble or misery
Make the veiller
spend the evening talking with friends
stuck in a bad situation
Maw maw or Grandma
pronounced “mok shoo” dish made with corn, green bell pepper, tomatoes, and onion cooked with bacon grease, butter, or cream.
pronounced “mardi graw” Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Roman Catholic season of Lent.
mixture of liquids and seasonings in which foods are soaked before cooking
Thank you very much.
my feet, literally my paws
pronounced “mel-e-taun” A vegetable pear , it is cooked like squash and stuffed with spicy dressing.
Mouche a mielle
pronounced “muff-a-lotta” Sandwich is made with Italian meats, cheeses, and a layer of olive salad.
Japanese Pear trees
Nanan or Nanny
a term of endearment for a male cajun
a term of endearment for a female cajun
pronounced “new-nee” a pacifier
Oo ye yi!
that hurts or I am sad.
Pain pee po
game or useless activity
pronounced “pan-per-doo” Cajun French toast the literal translation is "Lost Bread"
Paw Paw or Grandpa
Par en sous
sneaky or underneath
Pass a mop
Pass the vacuum
go away you dog
old run-down truck
pronounced “peh-kawn” nuts that are common in Louisiana and used in pies and pralines.
to thump something with your finger
small flat bottomed boat
runt or little person
Goldenrods, it is a Cajun folktale that if one picks goldenrods, one will urinate in bed
A sandwich made on French bread that began as an affordable lunch for poor boys.
close friend or partner
to loose ones breath while laughing or crying
small brown bird
a bad , mischievous, child. The literal translation is possessed.
to powder your face or to make yourself look nice
pronounced “praw-leen” A candy patty made of sugar, cream and pecans.
the thick fat layer on cooked meat
Qui C'est q'ca?
Who or what is that?
someone who tells stories, a storyteller
boring, never-ending conversation
Red Beans & Rice
The traditional Monday or wash day meal in New Orleans, red beans are cooked with ham or sausage and seasonings, and served over rice.
pronounced “rem-oo-lard” A spicy sauce used with Shrimp and other seafood
burr or stick in your socks
to run the roads and never stay home
pronounced “roo” a slow-cooked mixture of flour and oil. Used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.
long thin reed often used to make a duck blind
Sloppy, dirty man
Sloppy, dirty woman
A thick seasoned sauce made with roux, tomatoes, herbs and peppers.
fuzzy caterpillar that bites and causes fever
an insect that has pincers like scissors
a skinny person
a big hungry dog
pronounced “tah-so” Thin cut highly seasoned smoke cured ham.
To play Madame
to play house
pop corn or the sound corn makes when popping
someone practicing folk medicine, a healer.
a pillow case
slang in Louisiana cooking for celery, onions and bell pepper
a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken.
unit of measure
Un melon francais
Un pain round
a round French Bread
Un p'tit bec
a kiss or embrace
unable to sit still
a plump loaf of French bread
Up the bayou
pronounced “voo ca-ray” old quarter, usually referring to the French Quarter.
pronounced “vee zeet” a visit
Vomment ca vas?
How are you feeling?
Pronounced “zi-de-co” a kind of Cajun dance music that is a combination of traditional Cajun music, mixed with R&B, and African blues.