11 New Orleans Slang Phrases You’ll Only Understand If You’re Fluent In NOLA
Sound like a local from the bayou!
If you're going to look like you belong in New Orleans, there are a few things you need. Some black and gold clothing, an Abita in hand, and the vocabulary of a local. The worst thing you can do as a tourist is well, sound like a tourist. Put a little local flair in your vocab and mingle with a whole new mix of party-loving locals ready to teach you the Nola ropes. If you want to fit in around here, you have to be fluent in these Southern accents you'll only hear in NOLA.
A chant we yell when the Saints score a touchdown. Or on the street to one another just 'cause. Comes from the full Who Dat Chant: "Who dat! Who dat! Who dat say they gon' beat dem Saints?"
Krewe is the old English spelling for the word crew. Typically associated with Mardi Gras, the members of each parade are that parade's "krewe." But now, people use it to talk about their crew or friends. "I don't need a parade though, I've got my krewe right here!"
Pronounced lan-yap, it comes from Cajun French and means a little bit extra. It's like a little bonus. "Here's a little lagniappe to go with your po boy, free onion rings!"
When you go to the store to buy groceries, you're not picking them up - you're making them. "What do you want for supper? I'm at Winn Dixie makin' groceries."
"How’s ya mama an’ them?"
This sentence usually sounds more like "howsyamamaanem?" and it's asking, how's your whole family, but most importantly your mom! "How’s ya mama an’ them?"
Since it's not illegal to drink on the street in New Orleans, when you're leaving a bar, restaurant or house with a drink, you put it in a plastic cup called a "go cup." "Let's get go cups and take these drinks to the levee."
"Dressed or Undressed"
I know you're thinking that you know what this one means, but you might be confused when a server asks if you want your poboy dressed or undressed. A "dressed" poboy has lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise. And (some may disagree but) it's the best way to eat a poboy. "I'll take the roast beef poboy." "Dressed or undressed?" "Dressed, please!"
So what is this po'boy we speak of? It's basically a sub, hoagie or sandwich on delicious french bread. "Should I get the shrimp po'boy or the roast beef?"
These are not actual bugs. Mudbugs are crawfish or, what out-of-towners would call, crayfish. Every spring you'll be invited to a ton of mudbug or crawdad boils, where the host boils mudbugs for the guests with cajun seasoning, potatoes, corn, and some other vegetables. "I'm so excited for the boil today, I got 100 lbs of mudbugs."
"Pinch the tail, suck the head"
It sounds a little sexual but we promise it's not! It's just the proper way to eat a mudbug. Separate the head of the crawfish from the tail by pinching and pulling it, suck the seasoned juices from the head, and eat the tail meat. "How do I even eat this thing?" "Pinch the tail, suck the head!"
"Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
This is probably the most famous Cajun French phrase. It means "Let the good times roll!" And boy, do we know how to do that here in New Orleans. "I can't wait for Mardi Gras. Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
If you're looking to really dive into the NOLA experience and test out your new vocabulary, you definitely want to check out thiswith unlimited crawfish for only $30. You also need to add this massive to your calendar to connect with your new NOLA peeps.