Tag Archives: nicknames

Cajun French: Nicknames

As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, this post is about my newest nephew, Bennett. Yesterday I had the chance to cuddle and coo over him like the silly old maid aunt I’ve become. God, did I just say that? I almost said spinster too. Damn me for re-reading all of Mary Balogh’s books the last two weeks!

Anyway, we were talking about possible nicknames for Bennett. Naturally, some people will call him Bennie, which is fine except it’ll mean an instant segue into “B-B-B-Bennie and the jets”. Trust me, it will happen. I thought of the nickname B.D., but his maternal grandparents said no to that as they were both teachers and B.D. means behavior disorder. I may have mentioned that since this is my brother’s child, that might be an apt nickname. Then someone mentioned his little sideburns (They’re sooo cute) and my mom said he looked like Elvis. That became a possible nickname as well, but no, I can’t call my nephew Elvis with a straight face.

And nicknames are important, you know. I know someone nicknamed pas bon which means no good. My dad used to be called Cotton Top since he had white blonde hair. I call my niece Megan, Ma-Meg. My mom is Cookie, my uncle is Bubba, my aunt is Denie. My nephews had an assortment of nicknames ranging from Squatty (because Bryan’s legs would never straighten) to Beast to B, and for Patrick, he was Lou-Lou, Loubie, Patty Wag, Patter-Melt, and now Bobby Hebert (don’t ask). My stepsister is called Shu-Shu by her family because she liked to play with shoes when she was a baby.

I won’t even talk about my childhood nickname since I hated it and will kill anyone who calls me that. Instead, I’ll mention how my brother couldn’t pronounce my real name and called me Pepi instead. That became my nickname among the relatives younger than me while my sister shortens my name like I do hers. Our brother wasn’t as fortunate, being called Philly, Phe-Phe Bug (shortened to Phe-Phe and later Phe), and Charlie.

Coming up with a nickname for Bennett won’t be easy. I figure we’ll wait until he develops a personality. Maybe he’ll be a perfect little gentleman who fits the name Bennett. There’s no telling where this will go, but as soon as I know, I’ll let y’all know.

For now, I think we’ll call him sha, or t-bebe, or patot, or t-tot, or little man.

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Cajun French: Comme Ce, Comme Ca

I was going to write a very long, ranty post about the perception some people have about south Louisianans who live below sea level, but I’d rather not paint everyone with the same brush. I suppose I’m stressing a bit from the impending flood because I’m feeling sensitive about comments made by ignorant people.

Okay, now that’s out of the way, I can get to today’s lesson. I’m not sure if this is spelled correctly, but today’s phrase is Comme ce, comme sa. I heard this phrase my entire life and always took it to mean so-so. Why? Because every time someone would say it, they’d give that hand wobble most people do when they indicate things are neither good, nor bad.

It wasn’t until later that I realized the literal translation for this phrase is “like this, like that”. It’s pronounced come see, come sa and you have to add the hand motion. We speak with our hands too, you know.

So if you’re not having the best day and someone says…

Comment ca va? (How are you? or How is it going?) This is pronounced “Come’a sa va” (sort of, LOL)

You can answer Comme ce, comme ça.

If you’re having a good day, you can say Ca va bien. Which means “It goes well”.

When my brother married his wife, our oldest nephew was his best man and he’s a character. My sister-in-law’s cousin took an immediate liking to our nephew and nicknamed him comme ça. So yes, most of my sister-in-law’s family calls Patrick comme ça and don’t know him by any other name. It’s pretty funny, especially when they ask us “Which one’s comme ça?” *grin*

So it looks like y’all got several lessons in one day! I hope you’re able to use these in your writing or just for fun.

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Filed under humor