Cajun French: Rougarou

That’s right, I said rougarou,  not loupgarou. To be completely honest, I’m not sure if there’s a difference except in usage.

Rougarou is pronounced (roo-ga-roo) and loupgarou is pronounced (loop-ga-roo).

Most people have heard the word loupgarou, especially if they’ve read books, or watched movies pertaining to this part of the world. However, growing up, I’d never heard of a loupgarou. My mom used the rougarou to keep us in our places.

This is someone's interpretation of the rougarou at the Audobon Zoo in New Orleans. Scary, huh?

I was never entirely sure what the rougarou was except something I didn’t want to meet. Loupgarou is a werewolf and according to some sites, it seems that the rougarou is also a werewolf, the only difference is the word usage.

My mom used to say it was a swamp monster, never giving any specifics. She was crafty that way. I suppose the threats of being eaten by the rougarou as well as the hellacious ghost stories she used to tell me helped to make me a paranormal writer. I love writing about special beings whether they’re heroes or monsters.

Have you written about the rougarou or loupgarou?

8 Comments

Filed under Inspiration

8 responses to “Cajun French: Rougarou

  1. I have heard of the loupgarou but not the other. I love these lessons- they broaden my vocab and you know how much I like that – yeah, that Audobon dude is pretty wicked looking. HEHEHE

  2. What a FUN word!!!! LOL Loupgarou sounded familiar…..Love these words!!

  3. jeff chaisson

    I grew up in New Orleans, and definitely heard of the Rougarous. My dads friends swears he saw one. If anyone would mention it if we were camping, you could see the fear in his eyes. I know for a fact he believes in them.

  4. I grew up in Houma, but most of my family lived down the bayou (if you are from south LA you know what that means) I’ve hear it both ways growing up and always though of it as a swamp shape shifter. Wolves are not swamp animals, so I never considered that it was a Werewolf but more of a Wereman. I just came across your blog while I was researching (looking for the right spelling) Rougarous for my next book.

  5. Jeremy Robecheaux

    hell yeah i’ve heard of a loup-garou. Being Cajun, like i am, my gramma always used it like some kind of boogeyman on me, and the protagonist of a book i’m working on is a loup-garou

  6. Never written about it, but I think it had something to do with punishing people who didn’t keep their Lenten fasts.

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