Cajun French: Cousin

I know, you’re probably all like “She’s going to teach us how to say something we already know?” Nope. I promise, there’s a different way to say this word, but before we get to that, I have a few announcements to make.

First off, I’d like to announce the winner of Michele Zurlo’s giveaway. Wyndwhisper! You’re the lucky winner of the Daughters of Circe trilogy! E-mail me at danica(dot)avet(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll hook you up with Michele. Congrats!!

Secondly, the giveaway is still open for the 4th book in my Veil series, Ain’t No Bull. Just leave a comment here telling me if  you like the remake Marilyn Manson made, or tell me about your big dream and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be announced tomorrow on Fantasy Man Friday.

And last, but not least, today is my first day blogging with the gee/k/ink crew. I’m kind of nervous because um, they’re like uber cool. It’s like being invited to sit at the popular kids’ table back in high school…which um, never happened, so you can imagine my trepidation! I think I played it cool though, so if you’re feeling nice and all, stop by to say “hi”!

Now we can get to today’s lesson. Phew. Y’all still here? Okay then!

Jillian Chantal had asked me how two Cajun men would address each other a few months ago and I had to ponder on this a bit. Most of the time, I hear “pahdnah” (partner) or “brah” (I’m sure y’all know this one). However, it didn’t feel right. Then I happened to overhear an older Cajun man speaking to someone on the phone. The minute I heard him say it, I knew it was the right word.

Cousin (pronounced koo-zahn soft n) is a term of address for male friends or male…well, cousins, LOL. Cousine (pronounced koo-zene) is the feminine form of the word. I’ve never heard cousine, but cousin I certainly have.

If you’re writing male Cajuns who interact with each other, you do not want to have them call each other cher (sha). I mentioned this before.

Cajun men are laid back and affectionate at times, but they’re very macho. They have this sense of arrogance that I can barely begin to explain. If you watch Swamp People, you’ll probably notice that all of the men tend to think no one can do the job as good as they can and they’re very vocal about it. No one can cook as well as they do. No one can hunt as well as they do. (You get the idea) That’s the typical mindset here. Most are naturally macho, so to have one Cajun man call another cher is like calling another man “love” or “sweetheart”. It just doesn’t work unless they’re in a very intimate relationship.

So back to cousin. It’s a casual term, thrown out in a greeting to form a quick bond. Like calling someone cuz. Example:

Hey, cousin! Comment ca va?” (translation: Hey, cuz, how are you?)

In addressing a female, you would use cousine instead.

So, do you think this is something you can use in your writing or everyday life? And I told you it wasn’t pronounced the same! Tsk.

*If you have any questions about Cajun French, or culture, feel free to e-mail me at the address noted above.*

6 Comments

Filed under humor

6 responses to “Cajun French: Cousin

  1. Oh, wow. That’s interesting. Love these little cajun french lessons!! 🙂

  2. I definitely used this in my mystery manuscript I have out on submission now. When I get that contract, you’ll be in the acknowledgements, my friend. These lessons inspired my Cajun cop!!

  3. Jillian

    No his name is Anton. Lol.

  4. I have a quick question 🙂 If a Cajun guy was writing ‘cher’ to a woman, would he write cher, or chere? I know in French there’s a difference, but wasn’t sure if there is with the Cajan dialect! Many thanks for your help 🙂

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