Sunday, May 8, 2016

How To Speak Like A New Orleans Native

In New Orleans, the phrase "Where Yat" does not mean "Where are you?" It means "HOW are you?" If we say we love the culture of New Orleans let's preserve it and learn to tawk good, Dawlin'.

Don't ever call it "NOLA." You can write NOLA but you can't say it. Never call it Nawlins. "NOLA" has pretty much replaced Nawlins as the tourist word (or the word for outsiders who THINK they're one of us) for the city. People who call it "NOLA" will never be a true New Orleanian. Always pronounce the word "New," distinctly. You can say Nyoo or Noo - but do say it. Orleans is pronounced "Awlins" or "Orlins" when following the "New." On it's own, like Orleans Street or Orleans Parish it's either "Awleens" or "Orleens."

The word "baby" has many meanings. Often you'll call complete strangers "Baby." (And they'll call you "Baby.") Pronounced like Beh-BAAAY and it's sort of an OMG. "Do you see huh hair? Beh-BAAAY!" When it's "Baaaaay-bee" - you in trouble, Dawlin.

"Yeah, you right" is pronounced "YEAH, y'right." "You" or "Your" is very often reduced to just a y-apostrophe sound. "Y'house." "Y'Mama." Likewise "For" is reduced to "F' " Here, Baby, dis is f' y'house." "For the" is pronounced "Fuddah." Did y' get da shwimps fudda gumbo?"

"I'm going to" is pronounced "Ima." "Ima pass by y'house and drop off sump'n f' y'mama."

Sentence structure f' questions fuddah past tense is often inverted. "What did you do?" becomes "What y' did?" (Or, in this case "Whatcha did?") "Whatcha said?" "Where y' went?" "What he ate f' lunch?" "What she bought?" "How come she bought dat?" "She got took!" (Ok, that last one isn't a question, but it's the New Orleans past tense.)

When someone says "Let me tell you something" (which becomes one word: "Lemmetellyasump'm" - and, yes - that final "n" is pronounced like an "m") you're about to get a concrete opinion carved in stone or you in BIG trouble, Boo. When a New Orleanean says "Lemmetellyasump'm" - WATCH OUT.

And that's your New Orleans lesson for the day.

Friday, July 5, 2013


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