I started to panic this month when I realized I was slowly running out of Cajun French words and phrases to share with y’all. So I sat my sister-in-law and parrain down so I could get some more information.
There we were, sitting on the porch Sunday morning when my parrain reached over, popped my mom in the head with the palm of his hand and said, “tête dur!” I didn’t even need to ask him what it meant, the smack to the head was plenty explanation for me. It means “hard-headed”. And that’s something we’ve all heard from our parents once or five million times. Of course, not all parents throw in the forehead smack, but we do talk with our hands down here.
So here’s what we have tête dur, pronounced “tet” rhyming with “net” and “dur” like the u sound in “puree”. My mom didn’t use this word with us. She just called us stubborn or hard-headed, but after my parrain knocked her in the head, she said, “I forgot Mama used to say that to us.” Now by Mama, she means her grandmother who spoke Cajun French and apparently taught all of her grandchildren the swear words without realizing it. (I’ll get to that story another time.)
You can use this phrase in a couple of ways:
Just plain old: tête dur! (Forehead smack optional)
And: “Mais, you’re so tête dur!”
Is this a phrase you think you can use? I have to ask, will you use the forehead smack? It’s okay, you can tell me!
And don’t forget, tonight is Swamp People on the History Channel. If you want to hear some great Cajun accents, give it a look-see!