French Phrases

Common expressions you might hear in French Louisiana:

C’est tout (Say too): That’s all.

Fais-do-do (Fay doe doe): A dance. Literally “go to sleep” – a phrase whispered by French-speaking Cajuns to their children so the parents could join in the dancing.

Cher (Sha): Dear (a term of endearment).

Merci (Mare see): Thanks.

Pauve ti bete (Pove tee bet): Poor little thing.

Ça c’est bon (Sa say bohn): That’s good.

Ça va (Sa va): That’s enough.

Tante (Taunt): Aunt.

Nonc (Nonk): Uncle.

Lagniappe (Lahn yop): Something extra.

Boucherie (Boo sher ee): Pig roast.

Joie de vivre (Jhwa da veev): Joy of living.

Laissez les bons temps rouler (Lay say lay bohn tohn roo lay): Let the good times roll.

Allons (Al lohn): Let’s go.

Lache pas la patate (Losh pa la pa tot): Don’t let go of the potato or don’t give up (a testament to the enduring spirit of the Cajun people).


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