Tourist season is approaching. Are you ready??? Are you ready to hear our Southern slang be butchered? I’m not. Frankly, I’m sick of it! Here’s a lesson in Southern speak for those of you who have not been properly educated.
Pecan: The smooth-shelled edible nut of a tree of the hickory family, cultivated in the southern U.S. and Mexico.
Pecan, pronounced, pi-kahn. Not pee-can. You know what a pee-can is? A redneck’s version of a makeshift toilet, that’s what it is. Say it with me… PI-KAHN.
Crawfish: Crustacean resembling a lobster.
I usually swear by Ask.com. But they say that crawfish is pronounced krey-fish. They’re wrong. And even if they’re technically right, THEY’RE WRONG. Crawfish is said like it’s spelled: CRAW-FISH. Not that complicated. Also, do not utter the word crawdaddy or we’ll pounce on you like a lion jumps an antelope.
Praline: Confection of caramelized nuts and sugar.
This one is an iffy. I’ve heard Southern born people say “prey-leen”. Paula Deen, Ms. Southern Belle herself, says “prey-leen”. Typically, however, it is said like “prah-leen”… more so in NOLA and other parts of southern Loozyana. We’ll let ya slide on this one… but don’t say I didn’t tell ya.
Mardi Gras: The Tuesday before Lent, often celebrated as a carnival.
Most of the educated world knows what Mardi Gras is whether they celebrate it or not. But while “vacationing” in New Orléans a few years ago, I heard someone say “Marty Grass”. Not. Kidding. I half expected to see booze of some form in hand, but nope. Nothin’. Just a stupid tourist who actually let “Marty Grass” escape her lips. Now, she might have been joking… I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt for that. But in the same breath she said “prey-leen”. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I decided then & there that she was ridiculous and had no business being in the French Quarter.
Y’all: Slang for “you all”.
This is a hard one to mispronounce. It simply cannot be done. It can, however, come out awkwardly. If you’re not sure enough of yourself to say it, then please don’t. It just sounds awful. I have seen people misspell it, though, and it aggravates me. Now, this does not solely apply to tourists. This applies to everyone who has ever misspelled this word. As I said before, “y’all” means “you all”. Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that it would be spelled “Y’ALL”? You would think so. After all, the “y” is you and “all”.. well. It’s all. “You all”. But do you know, more often than not, I see it spelled “ya’ll”? That’s dumb. “Ya’ll” is ya-ll. Like you’re just make the “l” sound. ya-ll. Say it with confidence & PLEASE, for the love of GOD, spell it the right way!
Jambalaya: Dish of Creole origin, consisting of rice cooked with ham, sausage, chicken, or shellfish, herbs, spices, and vegetables, esp. tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
There is no rant for this one. It is a common mistake to say “JAMbalaya”. It is actually pronounced “JUMbalaya”. Now you know.
New Orléans: The city where you will be getting hammered.
Contrary to popular belief, New Orléans is never to be said like “New Or-LEENS”. Also, “Nawlins” is only to be said by natives of said Nawlins. I’m not even allowed to say it. New Orléans is “New Orlins”. If you’re feeling especially touristy & cheesy, feel free to call it the Big Easy. Do not, however, call a PERSON Big Easy. Also, if you are not a Saint’s fan, and even if you are, do not call the Saints the Ain’ts. Not even in good fun. Know what’ll happen if you do? Well, neither do I. But I do know that you AIN’T gettin’ out of there with all of your limbs attached.
That is Loozyana language lesson 101. Feel free to ask questions — one at a time now!
Y’all come back now, ya here?