Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mais Cher!

If I could describe Lafayette in one word, it would be "cher" - pronounced here in Cajun Country as "sha."

Nobody in Baton Rouge uses the word "cher" unless they're from the Acadiana area. Most of the Baton Rougeans I know don't even know what it means. (FYI, it's French for "dear.") When I meet someone for the first time, I instantly know if I can trust them if they use "cher" in a sentence.

But everybody in Lafayette uses "cher" all the time - seriously, it's used a ridiculous amount. A baby is "cher," a dog is "cher," and your kid brother is probably "cher" too.

To Cajuns, "cher" is a noun, adjective, adverb, pronoun, article, dangling participle - it's whatever you want it to be, and is therefore the most useful word in all of the Cajun language.

Examples:

Noun: Mais dat baby is a little cher!
Adjective: Who da father of dat cher bébé?
Adverb: Dat baby look cherly happy to me.
Verb: My lips is chap chapped. I need some Carmex or something to make dem cher better.

And I can't help but use "cher" along with my fake Cajun accent whenever I'm home. I love it! It makes me nostalgic for some Pizza Village pizza, Veron's miniature sausages, and Adrien's french bread. Cher dat french bread!

Unfortunately, my wife doesn't think "cher" is very "cher." Or maybe it's that I'm just saying it way too much. Either way, she's about to hog tie me, throw me in a pirogue, dump me into a bayou and feed me to the alligators. Ay yie yie!

Mais, I can only hope dat dem alligators are cher!

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