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Bat'trooms, Grips & Passion Marks

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."


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 15th, 2004 10:47 pm (UTC)
That's great! I seem to recall seeing either this sight or one similar before, but I'm making a post of this myself!
Dec. 15th, 2004 11:12 pm (UTC)
I love this kind of stuff. But what on earth is a "po-boy"?

I remember someone telling me she thought it was funny when a store clerk asked her if she'd like a sack for her purchase - she thought that was a funny thing to call a plastic bag. Of course, I can't remember what state she was in but I'm pretty sure it was the south.

I can't think of many Canadianisms except for the obvious things like pronouncing "z" as "zed" and not as "zee." And spelling "colour", etc, the British way. I do know there is a controversy about couch/sofa/chesterfield.

We say couch but I'm pretty sure my grandmother called it the chesterfield.

And you know what a loonie is all about now...
Dec. 16th, 2004 03:55 pm (UTC)
PO-BOY - The quintessential New Orleans lunch, a sandwich on good, crispy New Orleans French bread. New Orleans French bread is really a baguette and the sandwiches can have anything on them from ham and cheese to fried shrimp, crawfish tails or oysters. A real fave is a roast beef po-boy which is only good with lots of messy gravy and mayo so it drips down your arms as you eat and requires lots of napkins.
Dec. 16th, 2004 04:51 pm (UTC)
This is great. I feel like I should someday visit New Orleans (or "N'orlens" as some of my family members pronounce it.)
Dec. 16th, 2004 05:06 pm (UTC)
Re: mynez!
Come on down! I'd be happy to show you around our below sea-level paradise.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


romance, flower
Fleur de Dee

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