6 Phrases That Mean Something Completely Different In Acadiana
In Acadiana, we have a way of doing things our way. We don't typically conform to the same norms, social or otherwise, as many other places do. I bet you think these you know what these phrases mean, but the CAJUN meaning may surprise you. Enjoy!
When you wash dishes, you put them away. When you are finished with dinner, you put the leftovers in a container and you put it away. When you wash clothes, you fold them a put them away. In Acadiana... WRONG. You save them. To me the word 'save' conjures up memories of writing papers in college or maybe even Baptist revivals where souls are 'saved'. But in Acadiana, you never simply put something away. You 'save that'.
Example: I just heard the dryer stop. Let me go fold the clothes and save them before my wife comes home.
Another common term in many parts of the country is "get down". You are usually talking about a funky dance or getting down to the music. Maybe you are getting down from a deer blind or from a tall ledge. These scenarios would all make sense. But "get down" in Acadiana, means to get out of the car.
Example: I have to stop at the store on the way home. Are you going to get down with me?
Ambassador. A diplomat to another country? A governmental figurehead making big decisions at the United Nations? A funky classic hotel in the French Quarter? Anywhere else in the country all of these things could be true. But in Acadiana, the word Ambassador always refers to the miles-long thoroughfare that runs clear across Lafayette Parish. Officially named Ambassador Caffery Parkway, the whole name is never needed. With several major shopping outlets, two hospitals and half of Lafayette's Chick-Fil-As (1 of 2) on the road, it's kind of a big deal. Not to mention, it's the one road everyone in Acadiana has a secret route to avoid on busy days or bad weather.
We're not talking about a cross road or a crucifix, though some may say that Jesus is exactly what you need. The rest of the world may call it crazy. But the Cajun culture has coined the term 'cross'. Never have I seen my wife as mad as the first time someone called our pretty little baby girl (who was throwing an epic fit in a restaurant) "cross". I guess if we're being honest, she was pretty "cross" herself. I'll leave this one right there.
There is nothing more offensive in my family than going to a family dinner and not eating. You aren't hungry right now? Fix you a plate. Your wife is working tonight? Fix her a plate. On the run? No time to eat? Fix you a plate.
Are we seriously the only subset of our culture that keeps Styrofoam to-go containers on hand. I can't tell you the last time I took an actual container with leftovers from my parents' house. Go ahead. Fix you a plate.
My mama raised me to speak whenever I enter a room and to always smile. As such, I cannot remember the last time I walked into a room without saying "how's it going" or "how are you doing?".
What I've found about people in Acadiana is there is a ready response. "Good and you". It's like it's one word. Never just a "good" or "fine". Always "Good and you". Sometimes I think it may just be a French word I don't know: "Goudinyieux". Either way, I like it.
I tested my theory on our receptionist, Ms. Janet. She proved everything I just said TRUE.