Cajun Phraseology

Published: 09/28/2017

live music cajun with guest washboard

If you’ve ever spent any time around true Cajuns in south Louisiana, you’ve probably noticed a few things that stand out us that seems a little different from most cultures. If you share a meal with us, you might pick up on the fact that we probably like to add a little more cayenne to our food or that we can pretty much find a way to fry up anything and make it taste delicious. If there’s live music in the air, we’re usually the first to start dancin’, and there’s probably a few extra jigs in our 2-step than you’re used to seeing. But the thing that folks usually pick up on first is our way of sayin’ things.

Let’s look at a few popular Cajun words and phrases in what we’ll call, “Cajun Phraseology.” 

“Coullion” - Pronounced (Coo-yawh)

boy making a funny faceThis one is probably my favorite, but it really shouldn’t be because I heard it a lot growing up from my mom. A coullion is someone who’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Basically, it’s a Cajun way of saying “you did something kind of silly, but I still love you.” If you grew up in my house, it usually went something like “You coullion! You knew better than that. Now, go put some ice on it.”

“Make a pass” Or “Pass By”

No, this isn’t someone trying to get a date. It’s more of a Cajun invitation. You’ll usually hear it in the context of inviting someone over for a meal or a party.

“Ayy, momma’s makin’ a gumbo tonight! You gonna make a pass?”

“I’ve got a couple cold ones icing down, you wanna pass by?”

“ Boude’ ”- Pronounced (Boo-day)

This means “to pout” or to “be angry.”

Stop all that boude-ing and go do your homework.”

“Cher”- Pronounced (Sha)

This simply means “dear” in Parisian French. We Cajuns use it the same way.

Look at that sha lil guy peelin’ his own crawfish!”

Cajun dish

“Mais”- Pronounced (Meh)

In Parisian French, it means “but.” In south Louisiana, it’s can be used all sorts of ways.

 “Mais, I gotta go to da store. You comin?”


“Mais, you read that blog on Das some good stuff right there!”

Cajun Music and Food Festival Jul 16

Cajun Music and Food Festival

We will have live music-Ellis Vanicor & the Lacassine Playboys, Aaron Istre & Under The Influence, Donny Broussard…