Terms of Endearment


Louisianians take terms of endearment to a new level. Everyone’s essentially part of the extended family, at least until one proves otherwise. This explains why in Creole and in Cajun, formal forms are used only with certain people (e.g. priests, doctors, dignitaries, etc) and everyone else, that is, the ordinary stranger, is referred to in the informal voice.

The following are some commonly used terms of endearment used by Louisiana Creoles. Interesting fact: many of these terms have been adopted into Louisiana English, and used in its original language (Creole and French).

Honey. (English) = Bé. /bay/ (Creole)
Sweetie. (English) = Mô shou /mawn shoo/ (Creole)
Sweetie. (English) = shoushou /shoo SHOO/ (Creole) – emphasis on second syllable
Dear. (English) = shè /sheh/, or shæ /shaeh/ (Creole)

Girlfriend. (English) = Bèl. Négrès. /bell/, /nay gress/ (Creole)
Boyfriend. (English) = Bo. Nèg. /boh/, /nehg/ (Creole)

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6 thoughts on “Terms of Endearment

  1. I love this, as I love the spirit that my grandmother handed done, she always said city folks and Creole folks believe different. Its so true and i love my Creole Heritage and the truth and richness it has held for so many generations!! It lives in our food, our language, our mannerisms, and our love for festively gathering to fellowship!! Mo laimme twa!! Thank you for helping to preserve our truth so we don’t look over ourselves as the world seems to!!

  2. Wow. People on my dad’s side of the family call him shoushou, I thought it was just a nickname with no meaning, I didn’t know it was creole though! I’m definitely looking more into this 🙂

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