If you travel across America, you will find that some of the slang people use is not the same in every part. In New York, they might call their city “New Yoik”.
One phrase that might confuse many Americans is “Geaux”, you may have heard it if you’ve ever been to Louisiana. In this article, I want to look at what “Geaux” means, why it exists, and show you a few examples.
What does “Geaux” mean?
“Geaux” is Lousisana slang for “go”. It’s essentially the English word “Go”, said with a French accent. Louisiana has French in their slang, thanks to the Cajun people who left Canada in 1755.
Why does Louisiana say “Geaux” instead of “Go”?
Of course, it might strike many of us as rather odd that Louisiana sometimes says “Go” with a French accent. That would be a bit like the Scottish having Italian in their slang. Although there is a reason behind the madness.
The Cajuns are an ethnic group who originally come from France. However, due to reasons which we’ll discuss later, they moved to America, most commonly Louisiana.
Even though most of them speak English pronouncing some words in an English Accent is an excellent way for them to keep their culture alive.
How to pronounce “Geaux”
You might be able to see how “Geaux” is pronounced just from looking at it. But let me tell you, it isn’t pronounced how it’s spelt (according to English rules).
“Geaux” is pronounced “Geur”. Think of it like saying “Go” with a French accent.
In French, there is a common theme in many words that the last letter is not usually pronounced. This is particularly true for words that end in the letter X.
By spelling it as “Geaux”, the Cajuns make it clear that this word is to honour their French heritage.
Why does French have strange rules?
This does, of course, beg the question, “Why does France do that?”. If you learnt French at school, you were likely taught the rules, but I highly doubt you were taught why these rules are. And there are two theories to explain why the French do that.
The first theory says that in the past, they used to be pronounced. But over time, as the language changed, people found it easier to just drop the last letter of the word. Remember, spelling is from when language was standardised and does not reflect how it’s pronounced today.
The other theory is that French tends to use Etymological spelling. For example, their word for “peace” is “Paix”. This is from the Latin “Pax”.
Origin of the term “Geaux” and Cajun people
When the French first moved to Canada, some named the region they settled in “Accadia”, this is where we get the term “Cajun” from. For a long time, they lived happily in Canada.
However, in 1755, they were asked to sign an oath of allegiance to Britain. This was when Canada went into the hands of the British Empire. The Cajun people decided they didn’t want to, and as a result, Britain exiled them.
Thrown out of their own country, they were welcomed into Louisiana, who had recently been freed from British rule and were all too keen to welcome them.
Today, when most people think of “Cajun”, they most likely imagine the Chicken.
“Geaux” is an example of an Ethnologue
You often see two languages merging to create a new “ethnologue”. And there are many reasons why this might happen.
Sometimes, they will be said by tourists who are trying their best to learn a new language but sometimes struggle. When they don’t know a word in their host country’s language, they will substitute it for that word in their own language.
They may also be said by immigrants who know their new language but still wish to keep their culture and heritage alive.
An example of a phrase that is part of an Ethnologue is “Wagwan”, which is British-Caribbean slang for “What’s going on”.
When will you hear “Geaux”?
The most common time you will hear “Geaux” is at sports events. The fans will scream, “Geaux Team Geaux”. This is a sign of solidarity to show that everyone has come along to support the team.
Because many of the fans (and perhaps many of the players) will be Cajun, saying “Geaux” rather than “go”, adds to the sense of togetherness that sports can often bring.
Examples of “Geaux” in sentences
“SPORTS NEWS Kabby’s Sells Drinks’ To Geaux‘ During Mardi Gras The streets of New Orleans team with eccentric characters on any average day”.
“Let us assume for a moment that a German team would not mind 100 000 frantic Frenchmen screaming, “Geaux, a team Geaux! “
“Terry Neal is pointing at the school and attentively reminding riding to the jetties on the “Geaux Deep. “
“GEAUX SAINTS! People who don’t live in the South don’t really understand how important football is down here.”
“Fold in green onions and parsley before serving. Serve with hot white rice and very cold beer!Geaux Tigers Always! “
“Hell, you might as well bring a cowbell to the game or have “Geaux Tigers” tattooed on your left bicep if you believe carmine is an appropriate shade of red to wear to Ole Miss football games. “
“Her feet wandered along with her mind as she moved through the gallery, scarcely noticing the wacky, whimsical and ridiculous works for which the Stahp/Geaux Gallery was renowned.”
“The New Orleans Saints will remain a force in the NFC division. Geaux Saints!”
“If you go up to a random tailgater, smile, and say ‘Geaux Tigers,’ you can expect a beer, a burger, a side of jambalaya, and a new friend.”
“Geaux” is a bit of a strange word. It means “go”, which is, of course, an English word, but it’s pronounced with a French accent and written using French spelling rules.
The reason for “Geaux” is the Cajun people. They live in Louisiana (an English speaking part of the world) but have their origins in France. This has resulted in some of their slang being a combination of English and French. So if you ever visit Louisiana and wonder what the people at the sports game are shouting, hopefully, this article will have given you a slightly better idea.