Cajun French: Family Gossip

I’ve been having a strange two weeks, but I’ll get over it. I’m finally writing again. I had to imagine that my writer’s block was a mountain and my creative juices a river that had to wear the mountain down until thoughts could leak through. Yeah, it took that long to get them flowing again, but hopefully no boulders will block the little gap I made.

I don’t have an actual Cajun French word or phrase for you this week. Instead, I’m going with a simple saying that you’ll hear from just about everyone down here.

I don’t know about y’all, but sometimes when I go to the store, I run into every distant relative I never knew about. Seriously, I have so many cousin’s on my dad’s side of the family, I have no idea who they are. My mom will say, “You know Uncle Cop’s son’s daughter? I saw her today.” And I’m like…who?

Anyway, the few relatives I see that I do know, all want to chit-chat. Yes, they will block the aisles with their baskets while they grill you about your life, tell you about their life, and give you all of the gossip you weren’t sure you wanted to know. Kind of like “So-and-so finally moved and are living next door to us. And so-and-so is fighting with blahblah because of blah. And blankety-blank is getting married, but I’m not inviting yada-yada…” You get the idea.

It kind of starts like this:

“Hey! I haven’t seen you in forever! How’s your mama and them?”

“How’s your mama and them” is a perfectly legitimate question. It means they want to know how your family is, not just your mama. Of course, when it comes to my dad’s family, they all want to know how Mom’s doing. She hasn’t been married to him for over thirty years, but they still call her aunt and want to know how she is and what she’s up to.

I find it kind of funny it isn’t “How’s your daddy and them” instead. I suppose it just goes to show that here, the woman is the center of the family. Kind of like a big ball of fire that shoots solar flares at you when you piss her off…you know what I mean!

Of course, you’d only use this phrase if you’re familiar with the family. It would be kind of weird for someone who’s never met your mother or family to ask that question unless they’ve known you for a very long time and you’ve told them endless stories about them *cough* So yeah, y’all can totally ask me “how’s your mama and them”, LOL

So is this something you say in your part of the world? If not, what would you say instead?

8 Comments

Filed under Family

8 responses to “Cajun French: Family Gossip

  1. I think you’d probably hear something more like, “How are y’all?” here in the south. 🙂

  2. I don’t say it myself but my mom’s family does – My dad laughs at her and always asks her “How’s Mason and “em?” when she gets off the phone with her brother. LOL!

    • LOL, I don’t think I would’ve even thought of it if it hadn’t been for a phone call I got when someone asked me that. It’s so natural here, it’s one of those things we think everyone around the country says, LOL

  3. KAK

    “…and them”

    Hehe. I usually opt for the “…and the fam” if I know you, or the more formal “How is the family?” that is eternally mocked on TV.

    • LOL, it’s more like “how’s ya mama and dem?” but you get the idea 😉 “Them” is like saying “y’all” it encompasses everyone you were ever related to by blood, or marriage

  4. laradunning

    I’ve never heard that before. I like it.

    • LOL, visit south Louisiana and you’ll overhear someone saying it 🙂 It’s kind of run together. I forgot to mention that. It’s not a slow phrase it’s “how’sya mama n’dem?” 🙂

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