July 26, 2007 at 3:32 pm (trivia)

I got this word in my word-of-the-day emails that I get from Merriam Webster.com.

zydeco \ZYE-duh-koh\ noun

: popular music of southern Louisiana that combines tunes of French origin with elements of Caribbean music and the blues and that features guitar, washboard, and accordion

The part that I found so amusing was the word’s origin:

“You might say that the lively form of music known as zydeco is full of beans, etymologically speaking. Legend has it that the word “zydeco” originated in the lyrics of Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés, a popular Cajun dance tune. Loosely translated, the song’s title means “the beans are not salty,” and when spoken in French Creole, “les haricots” (French for “beans”) sounds something like “zydeco.” “Zydeco” first appeared in print in 1960 and has been used to describe this kind of music ever since.”

The French Creole accent must be a little different than the French accents that I’m used to hearing, because I had to say that one out loud several times before I could believe it. But I think the word is cool… who knows, maybe I’ll use it on a lively horse someday. (I used to ride a horse called “Spill the Beans” who was nicknamed “Full of Beans”… wouldn’t “Zydeco” have been a much more interesting name?)


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