GLOSSARY

 

Acadians - are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles.

 

Alligator - American alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and swamps, as well as in brackish environments.

 

Banquette - sidewalk

 

Basin - a topographic region in which all water drains to a common area.

 

Bayou - term for a body of water typically found in a flat, low-lying area, and can refer either to an extremely slow-moving stream or river, or to a marshy lake or wetland.

 

Beads - strings of plastic beads passed out or thrown from the floats in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades to spectators lining the streets.

 

Beignet - English pronunciation: /bɛn'jeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], literally bump), is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux paste. Beignets are commonly known in New Orleans as a breakfast or treat served with powdered sugar on top. They are traditionally prepared right before consumption to be eaten fresh and hot. Beignets the official state doughnut of Louisiana.

 

Blues - is a genre and musical form that originated in African-American communities in the "Deep South" of the United States around the end of the 19th century.

 

Bourré - (Boo-Ray) is a trick-taking gambling card game primarily played in Louisiana.

 

Bourbon Street - is a street in the heart of New Orleans' oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter, in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is now primarily known for its bars and night life.

 

Café au lait - (French for "coffee with milk") is coffee with hot milk added.

 

Café noir - Black coffee served as a beverage without cream or milk or sugar.

 

Cajuns - (French: les Cadiens or Les Cadiens or les Acadiens) are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles.

 

Carnival - Carnival celebrations, usually referred to as Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday in French), is a festive season that occurs immediately before the Christian season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February. Carnival typically involves a public celebration and/or parade combining some elements of a circus, masks and public street party.

 

Cathedral / St. Louis Cathedral is among the oldest cathedrals in the United States. It is located next to Jackson Square and facing the Mississippi River in the heart of New Orleans.

 

Cayenne - is a hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes.

 

C’est bon - translation “It’s good”

 

Chicory - is the root of the endive plant. The root of the plant is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee. It adds an almost chocolate flavor to the Cafe Au Lait.

 

Crawfish - are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related.

 

Creole - Louisiana Creole people are those who are descended from the colonial settlers of Louisiana, especially those of French, Spanish, African and/or Native American. Therefore, a person could be French-Creole, Spanish-Creole or African Creole or Native American Creole.

 

Cypress - is a deciduous conifer that grows on saturated and seasonally inundated soils of the Southeastern and Gulf Coastal Plains of the United States. Bald cypress trees growing in swamps have a peculiarity of growth called cypress knees. These are woody projections from the root system that project above the ground or water.

 

Delta - a land form at the mouth of a river.

 

Dixie - refers to privately issued currency originally from the Citizens State Bank (located in New Orleans) and then other banks in Louisiana. These banks issued ten-dollar notes, labeled "Dix", French for "ten", on the reverse side. The notes were known as "Dixies" by English-speaking southerners, and the area around New Orleans and the French-speaking parts of Louisiana came to be known as "Dixieland". Eventually, the term broadened to refer to the Southern states in general.

 

Doubloons - aluminum coins called doubloons, which are stamped with krewes' logos, parade themes and the year.

 

Fat Tuesday - refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three King's Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.

 

Floats - A structure of wood, metal and metal wire covered in papier-mâché. Once dried, details are added. It is then sanded and painted. Carnival floats can be very large, accommodate several dozen people, and have movable parts, like the facial features of a character or its limbs.

 

French Quarter - also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans.

 

Hurricane - A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.

 

Honey Island - The Honey Island Swamp monster is a legendary hominid cryptid reported to have been seen in Honey Island Swamp, Louisiana, since 1963.The creature is described as bipedal, 7 feet tall, with gray hair and yellow or red eyes, and accompanied by a disgusting smell. Footprints supposedly left by the creature have four webbed toes.

 

Jazz - is a genre of music that originated in African American communities during the late 19th and early 20th century. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.

 

King Cake - What started out, roughly 300 years ago, as a dry French bread–type dough with sugar on top and a bean inside is now made of a cinnamon-filled dough in the shape of a hollow circle. They have glazed topping and are sprinkled with colored sugars of gold, green and purple.

The King Cake is synonymous with Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans. Starting with Epiphany on January 6, residents begin holding King Cake parties, bringing families and community members together to celebrate the joyous season of Mardi Gras, with its celebratory parades and festivals.

 

Krewe - is an organization that puts on a parade or ball for the Carnival season. The term is best known for its association with New Orleans Mardi Gras.

 

Lagniappe - (/'lænjæp/ LAN-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure."

 

Levee - is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river in its floodplain.

 

Magnolia - is the official state flower of Louisiana.

 

Mardi Gras - Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of theLenten season.

 

Marsh - a type of wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species, often found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds or low-growing shrubs.

 

Mississippi River - is the chief river of the largest drainage system on the North American continent. Flowing entirely in the United States (though its drainage basin reaches into Canada), it rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and tenth largest river in the world. 

 

Mudbugs - are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related.

 

N’awlins - New Orleans is famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras, dating to French colonial times. The city is often referred to as the "most unique" in the United States.

 

Nutria - is a large, herbivorous, semi aquatic rodent.

 

Parade - is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands and floats.

 

Parish - The U.S. state of Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes in the same way that 48 other states of the United States are divided into counties.

 

Pelican - State bird of Louisiana.

 

Plantation - A large piece of land usually in a tropical or semitropical area where one crop is specifically planted for widespread commercial sale and usually tended by resident laborers.

 

Po' boy - is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat, usually roast beef, or fried seafood, or sometimes chicken or ham. The meat is served on baguette-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust and fluffy center.

 

Praline - is a confectionery containing at a minimum nuts and sugar; cream is a common third ingredient. French settlers brought the recipe to Louisiana, where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. During the 19th century, New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for almonds, added cream to thicken the confection, and thus created what became known throughout the American South as the praline.

 

Pirogue - one of several kinds of small boats. One kind is associated particularly with the Cajuns of the Louisiana marsh. The early Cajun pirogues were cypress dugouts but today are usually flat-bottomed boats. The design allows the pirogue to move through the very shallow water of marshes and be easily turned over to drain any water that may get into the boat. The pirogue is usually propelled by paddles that have one blade or punted with a push pole in shallow water.

 

Riverboat - Steamboats played a major role in the 19th-century development of the Mississippi River and its tributaries by allowing the practical large-scale transport of passengers and freight both up- and down-river. Using steam power, riverboats were developed during that time which could navigate in shallow waters as well as upriver against strong currents.

 

Second line - is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. The "main line" or "first line" is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." The second line's style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called "second lining." It has been called "the quintessential New Orleans art form – a jazz funeral without a body."

 

Spanish moss - is a flowering plant that grows upon larger trees, commonly the Southern Live Oak or Bald Cypress in the southeastern United States.

 

Street Car - A streetcar or tram is a vehicle that travels on rails, typically in a street.

 

Swamp - A swamp is a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations.

 

Voodoo - Louisiana Voodoo, also known as New Orleans Voodoo, describes a set of spiritual folkways that developed from the traditions of the African diaspora. It is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions developed by enslaved West Africans and the French, Spanish, and Creole populations of the U.S. state of Louisiana. Voodoo is one of many incarnations of African-based spiritual folkways rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun. Its liturgical language is Louisiana Creole French, the language of the Louisiana Creole people.

 

Zydeco - is a musical genre evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers which blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native people of Louisiana.