I got some lovely presents and several compliments today during the year-end meeting and luncheon. It's nice to be appreciated sometimes.
And this has tickled me so much this afternoon...A Lexicon of New Orleans Speech
Here are a few examples...
ALLIGATOR PEAR - Avocado. (Frequently used by my family. I did not know an avocado and alligator pear were the same thing until I was a teen-ager.)
BANQUETTE - The sidewalk. Pronounced BANK-it.
BAT'TROOM - A room in the house where one doesn't find bats, but where one bathes, attends to the elimination of bodily waste, or locks oneself in and cries until one gets one's way.
BRAKE TAG - An inspection sticker on your car, proof that you've passed the required annual safety inspection. It encompasses several areas of your car (e.g., horn, wipers, etc.) but is primarily concerned with the integrity of your brakes. Given the fact that New Orleans is surrounded by various lakes, rivers and canals, a bad set of brakes could mean that you might end up at the bottom of one of those bodies of water at the very least. Throughout New Orleans (although I'm not sure about other parts of Louisiana), the inspection sticker is called a "brake tag". (Mine is about to expire at the end of this month.)
DRESSED - When ordering a po-boy, "dressed" indicates lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and MYNEZ, on it. (I asked for a sandwich dressed when I first moved to San Francisco and the server looked at me like I was from Mars. I had to learn to say "with everything".)
ERNGE, URNGE - An orange-colored citrus fruit.
GO CUP - A paper or plastic cup for consumption of alcoholic beverages out on the street, as open glass containers (and cans too, I think) are illegal.
Many non-New Orleanians are astonished that we can drink out on the street in go cups. (Drive-through daiquiri shops here have made a fortune on the go cup concept. This also amazes visitors.)
GRIP - A small suitcase, usually not a hard-shell one, more like a schoolbag or an overnight bag. Other locals have used this to refer to all types of suitcases. "Don't fo'get ya grip!", says ya mamma, as you're leaving the house. (Used by my Gram when we would stay overnight at her house. "Got ya grip?)
HAWT - A term of endearment used primarily by local females. (As in, "Hey, my hawt!)
MYNEZ - Mayonnaise.
PASSION MARK - The little red mark you get on your neck (or elsewhere) after a passionate session of necking. Called a "hickey" or a "love bite" everywhere else, apparently. (Used quite often when I was in high school. "Look at her. She's got another passion mark.")
WHERE YA STAY (AT)? - Where do you live?
WHERE Y'AT! - The traditional New Orleanian greeting, and the source for the term "Yat", often used (primarily by non-New Orleanians, it is said) to describe New Orleanians with the telltale accent. The proper response is, "Awrite."