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 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 chic A cleverly disguised insult.

Alohrs pas of course not

Amandine pronounced “ar-man-deen” fish or seafood served with a lemon butter sauce and topped with toasted, slivered almonds

Andouille pronounced “ahn-doo-wee” A spicy country sausage used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.

Arrete toi stop, you

Bayou a slow moving river or stream

Bebelle doll

Bebette  a little monster or critter

Begailler to stutter

Beignet  pronounced “bin-yey” sweet square-shaped doughnut sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Bigarno  snail or escargot

Bisque pronounced “bisk” A rich, thick creamy soup usually made with crawfish or shrimp.

Blackened a cooking method. To blacken fish or meat by coating it with spices and quickly searing in butter.

Blanc white

Bleu blue

Bleu clair light blue

Bon Appetite! enjoy!

Bon rien a good for nothing or lazy man

Bonjour Mes Amis Good day my friends.

Bonne a rienne a good for nothing or promiscuous woman

Boo a term of endearment such as sweetie, or darling

Boscoyo cypress knee

Bouche mouth

Boude' to be angry

Boudin  pronounced “boo-dan” Spicy pork sausage made with onions, cooked rice and herbs.

Boug boy

Bouillee pudding

Bourick belly button

Bourre' pronounced boo-ray, A card game invented by Cajuns.

Bracque crazy

Bram eggplant

Bread Pudding  a baked dessert made from French bread soaked in custard, and usually served with whiskey sauce.

Ca c'est bon That's good!

Ca viens? How is it coming?

Cafe au Lait pronounced “caf-ay-oh-ley” A half-and-half blend of strong chicory coffee and steamed milk.

Cahbin bathroom

Caimon  alligator

Caisse The back of a truck.

Cajun pronounced "cay-jun" French-speaking people who migrated to Louisiana from Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century.

Canaille  sly or sneaky

Cane Syrup  A sweet syrup extracted from Sugar Cane. Used on French waffles, and in Pecan Pie.

Capon coward

C'est magnifique That is great!

Chadron thistles

Chambre a bain  bathroom

chambre a coucher bedroom

Chaoui raccoon

Chat Get away cat!

Chee wees A Cheetos type snack made by the Elmers company in New Orleans.

Cher endearment used for someone you're fond of

Chicory An herb, the roots of which are dried, ground; roasted and used to flavor coffee.

Cho! Co! wow!

chouchoot a thingamajig

Co faire? why?

Cocain an adjective for large

Commes les vieux  like the old people

Coo-Wee wow! look at that!

Costeau Male crab

Couche-Couche A cajun cornmeal cereal eaten with milk

Court bouillion tomato based soup with onion and bell pepper

Couyon  An ignorant person

Crapeau a booger

Crawfish small freshwater crustaceans resembling lobsters

Crème Brûlée dessert made with rich custard and topped with a layer of hard caramel. 

Creole People of mixed French, Spanish, Indian or Negro blood

Creole Cuisine Recipies derived from French, Spanish, Indian and African cooking techniques. Commonly using complex sauces and involved preparation.

Creole Mustard Spicy mustard made in South Louisiana using marinated mustard seeds.

Cro-cros big, old and clunky shoes

Cunja 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.

Defan a sainted (godly) dead person

Defan Pauvre dear departed Sainted Dad

Defante  dear departed sainted woman

De'pouille anything or anyone who is a mess

Des meurres blackberries

Dirty Rice  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.

Domion  peeping Tom

Dos Gris a scalp

Down the Bayou South

Dreegailles junkor trinkets or little value

Dressing stuffing, or a side dish for a meal.

Ech! gross

En bouts des dents to eat something you find distasteful

En colaire angry

En d'oeuille to be in mourning

Envie a craving

Etoufee  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.

Fah-yuh fire

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

Faut carot large black Grasshopper

Ferme  to close

File' dried, powdered sassafras leaves used as a thickening agent in Gumbo

Freesons goose bumps

Fremeers grossed out by something

Fromis ants

Fuh shore that's the truth

Gaienne girlfriend

Ga-lee to be excited, to or in awe.

Gar ici look here

Garde Soleil old fashioned sun bonnet

Grand Beede' Big clumsy man

Gratin food stuck at the bottom of the pot

Grattons pronounced “grah-tawns” cracklins or fried pork rind

Grillades pronounced “gree-yahds” beef or veal steak, browned, then simmered until tender in browned tomato sauce.

Gris grey

Gris-gris  pronounced “gre-gre” An object used to ward off or inflict evil

Gumbo  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

Honeychile honey child, an endearment

Hont embarrassed

Hose pipe water hose

Il mouille It is raining

J'ai gros couer to feel like crying or I have a big heart

Jambalaya  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.

Jaune yellow

Je vas te passe une calotte to threaten to slap a person

Joie de vivre  An attitude towards life.

King Cake A oval shaped pastry, sometimes stuffed with fillings and decorated with colored sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors.

Lagniappe  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!

Macaque monkey

Magazine store

Mais well

Mais, jamais d'la vie! Well, never in my life!

Make a bahbin to pout

Make the misere to cause trouble or misery

Make the veiller  spend the evening talking with friends

Mal pris  stuck in a bad situation

Mamere Maw maw or Grandma

Maque Choux pronounced “mok shoo” dish made with corn, green bell pepper, tomatoes, and onion cooked with bacon grease, butter, or cream.

Mardi Gras  pronounced “mardi graw” Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Roman Catholic season of Lent.

Marinade mixture of liquids and seasonings in which foods are soaked before cooking

Marron brown

Mashwarohn Catfish

Maw Maw Grandma

Merci Beaucoup Thank you very much.

Mes pattes my feet, literally my paws

Mirliton  pronounced “mel-e-taun” A vegetable pear , it is cooked like squash and stuffed with spicy dressing.

Mon cher My dear.

Moochon a stump
Motier foux half crazy

Mouche a mielle honey bee

moustique mosquito

Muffuletta  pronounced “muff-a-lotta” Sandwich is made with Italian meats, cheeses, and a layer of olive salad.

Muspeulus Japanese Pear trees

Nanan or Nanny Godmother

Neg a term of endearment for a male cajun

Negresse  a term of endearment for a female cajun

Noir black

Nunie  pronounced “new-nee” a pacifier

Oo ye yi! that hurts or I am sad.

Pain pee po game or useless activity

Pain Perdu pronounced “pan-per-doo” Cajun French toast the literal translation is "Lost Bread"

Papere Paw Paw or Grandpa

Par en sous sneaky or underneath

Parran Godfather

Pass a mop to mop

Pass the vacuum to vacuum

Passe' go away you dog

Patate potato

Patrack old run-down truck

Paw-Paw Grandpa

Pecan pronounced “peh-kawn” nuts that are common in Louisiana and used in pies and pralines.

Peekon thorn

Peeshnick to thump something with your finger

Peeshwank little girl

Peunez stinkbug

Pirogue  small flat bottomed boat

Pischouette runt or little person

Piss-au-lis Goldenrods, it is a Cajun folktale that if one picks goldenrods, one will urinate in bed

Pistaches peanuts

Pleurer cry

Pluie rain

Po-Boy A sandwich made on French bread that began as an affordable lunch for poor boys.

Podna close friend or partner

Pomee' to loose ones breath while laughing or crying

Poo-yi Dat stinks!

Pop chock small brown bird

Porro wart

porte monnaie purse

Possede' a bad , mischievous, child. The literal translation is possessed.

Pot d'chambre chamber pot

Poule D'eau a coot

Pouponer to powder your face or to make yourself look nice

Praline  pronounced “praw-leen” A candy patty made of sugar, cream and pecans.

P'tit Boug  little boy
Quanne the thick fat layer on cooked meat

Qui C'est q'ca? Who or what is that?

Raconteur someone who tells stories, a storyteller

Rahdoht  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.

Remoulade  pronounced “rem-oo-lard” A spicy sauce used with Shrimp and other seafood

Rocachah burr or stick in your socks

Rodee' to run the roads and never stay home

Rose pink

Rouge red

Roux pronounced “roo” a slow-cooked mixture of flour and oil. Used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.

Rozoe long thin reed often used to make a duck blind

Saleau Sloppy, dirty man

Saloppe Sloppy, dirty woman

Sauce Piquante A thick seasoned sauce made with roux, tomatoes, herbs and peppers.

Schneille fuzzy caterpillar that bites and causes fever

Scisseaux an insect that has pincers like scissors

Seekahsah  wasp

Skinny Mullet a skinny person

Tahyo a big hungry dog

Tasso pronounced “tah-so” Thin cut highly seasoned smoke cured ham.

To play Madame to play house

Toc-toc pop corn or the sound corn makes when popping

Tooloulou Fiddler crab

Traiteur  someone practicing folk medicine, a healer.

Traversain a pillow case

Tremp wet

Trinity slang in Louisiana cooking for celery, onions and bell pepper

Turducken a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken.

Un champagne  unit of measure

Un melon francais canteloupe

Un pain round a round French Bread

Un p'tit bec a kiss or embrace

Un transport unable to sit still

Une miche a plump loaf of French bread

Une piaster a dollar

Up the bayou North

Vert green

Vielle  elderly woman

Vielle fille old maid

Vieux elderly man

Vieux Carre  pronounced “voo ca-ray” old quarter, usually referring to the French Quarter.

Violet purple

Visite pronounced “vee zeet” a visit

Vomment ca vas?  How are you feeling?

Wowaron bullfrog

Zeerahb disgusting

Zirondelle dragonfly

Zydeco 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.