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Cajun to English dictionary online


How to Speak Cajun


Here are a few common Cajun words, and their English translations.


Andouille (ahn-do-ee)
A spicy country sausage used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.

Beignet (ben-yea)
Delicious sweet doughnuts, square-shaped and minus the hole, lavishly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sometimes served with cafe au lait (coffee with chicory and milk).

Bisque (bis-k)
A thick, cream or milk-based shellfish soup, usually made with crawfish, shrimp or oysters.

Bon Appetite! (bon a-pet-tite')
Good appetite - or "Enjoy!"

Boucherie (boo-shuh-ree)
A community butchering which involves several families contributing the animal(s) --usually pigs -- to be slaughtered. Each family helps to process the different cuts of meat, like sausage, ham, boudin, chaudin, chops, and head cheese. Each family gets to take home their share of the yield. This process was done in late fall to provide meat throughout the cold months.

Boudin (boo-dan)
Hot, spicy pork mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs, and stuffed in sausage casing.

Bourre (boo-ray)
French for "stuffed", it is the name of a Cajun card game which requires the loser of a hand to stuff the pot with chips.

Cafe au Lait (kah-fay-oh-lay)
Coffee with steamed milk.

Cajun (cay-jun)
Slang for Acadians, the French-speaking people who migrated to South Louisiana from Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century. Cajuns were happily removed from city life preferring a rustic life along the bayous. The term now applies to the people, the culture, and the cooking.

Cayenne (ki-yan)
A hot pepper that is dried and used to season many Louisiana dishes.


Couyon (koo-yon)

A fool, from the French word "couillon."

Couche-Couche (koosh-koosh)
A popular breakfast food, made by frying cornmeal and topping it with milk and/or cane syrup.

Etoufee (ay-too-fay)
A succulent, tangy tomato-based sauce. A smothered dish usually made with crawfish or shrimp. Crawfish and Shrimp etouffees are New Orleans and Cajun country specialties.

Fais do do (fay-doe-doe)
The name for a party where traditional Cajun dance is performed. This phrase literally means "to make sleep," although the parties are the liveliest of occasions with food, music, and dancing..

File (fee-lay)
Ground sassafras leaves used to season, among other things, gumbo.

Fricasse (free-kay-say)
A stew made by browning then removing meat from the pan, making a roux with the pan drippings, and then returning meat to simmer in the thick gravy.

Gumbo (gum-boe)
A thick, robust roux-based soup sometimes thickened with okra or file'. There are thousands of variations, such as shrimp or seafood gumbo, chicken or duck gumbo, okra and file' gumbo.

Jambalaya (jum-bo-lie-yah)
Louisiana chefs "sweep up the kitchen" and toss just about everything into the pot. A rice dish with any combination of beef, pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham, or seafood, as well as celery, green peppers and often tomatoes.

Joie de Vivre (zhwa-d-veev)
An attitude towards life

Lagniappe (lan-yap)
This word is Cajun for "something extra," like the extra donut in a baker's dozen. An unexpected nice surprise.

Laissez les bon temps rouler (lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay)
Let the good times roll!

Maque Chou (mock-shoo)
A dish made by scraping young corn off the cob and smothering the kernels in tomatoes, onion, and spices.

Mardi Gras (mardi graw)
Commonly known as Fat Tuesday, it is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Roman Catholic season of Lent. It's also the day of the Biggest Party on Earth!

Pain Perdu (pan-pear-doo)
Means "lost bread"; a breakfast treat made by soaking stale bread in an egg batter, then frying and topping with cane syrup or powdered sugar.

Pirogue (pee-row)
A Cajun canoe.

Praline (praw-leen)
The sweetest of sweets, this New Orleans tradition is a candy patty made of sugar, cream and pecans.

Roux (rue)
Base of gumbos or stews, made of flour and oil mixture.

Tasso (tah-soh)
Strips of spiced pork or beef which are smoked like jerky and used to flavor many dishes; a sort of Cajun pepperoni.






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