New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Friday, July 12, 2024
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Different Dialects of YAT

Posted by: Cathy at Sun Jun 16 01:17:29 2002
We can do all sorts of things with this. And debunk a lot of myths as well as misinformation about our "language".

For instance, how do you say "oysters"?

I grew up in "new" Metairie (almost in Kenner and I say "oi-sters"--but REALLY light on the "r" at the end. Not "oi-stahs" but close.

My mother's father was from a German Carrolton family and her mother was from an Esplanade Ridge Creole family (Spanish & French with some English). My father was from Central City with an Italian father and a Mississippi/Scotch Irish mother.

Having said all that, I realize how complicated this can get. If our parents came from many different cultures then our dialects may be very complex. But if we are a product of our neighborhoods it's fairly simple. I think it's a combination of all these things--but maybe not.

And that's why I hope you all will post some input on this--saying where you grew up, where your parents grew up, where they came from, and how you pronounce different words.

Posted by: OKYat at Sun Jun 16 15:01:53 2002
My mother was second generation German and grew up near Magazine Street on Toledano Street. My mother is the youngest of a family of eleven and it is interesting that her dialect was different than that of her oldest sisters. Not sure what caused that other than she was fortunate enough to go to college back in the days when most women didn't even go to high school. For instance, my mother said "manaise" and "bomb" and her sisters said "mynez" and "bum". My mother had what we called "her teacher voice" when she spoke perfectly annuciated English to our teachers!

My father is...I'm so ashamed....I'm not sure I can say it....A YANKEE from New Joisey AND a PROTESTANT! It seems Camp Plauche caused a lot of "mixed" marriages in New Orleans, LOL! Although my father was from New Jersey, he was from central New Jersey and his and his brothers' dialect is entirely different than the dialect of northern New Jersey next to New York. My sister and I talk more Yat than Yankee because I think we knew instinctively that my father talked just a little bit funny.

Posted by: BB at Sun Jun 16 10:35:40 2002
My father-in-law, whose family came from St. Martinville, used to drive a pony-ack. HIS father's solution to troublesome segments of society was "to take a machine gun and mole 'em down."

Perhaps we should consider doing that to that troublesome poster from Houma.
I'm sorry, WebWizard. I'll be nice.

Posted by: LakeviewGal at Sun Jun 16 09:25:29 2002
I know there are differences in pronunciation throughout the city, but are those neighborhood differences further broken down into differences because of one's parent's background? We could get into sub-sub categories here!

I was born and grew up in Lakeview. Mother half Italian, half Cajun; father half Italian, half Irish. I can't remember specifics, but I know I had relatives from other parts of the city who pronounced certain things differently than I did. (And of course, my Cajun grandmother was another thing altogether, but that doesn't have to do with Yat.) This topic is a job for a linguist - I wonder if anyone's ever done a thesis on it!

Posted by: Rita at Mon Jun 17 20:32:40 2002
How do you spell "cayoudle?" I suspect that's what we all are. I grew up by Audubon Pawk with a mother from the German-Acadian Coast (St. James Parish) and a father from da Channel (grandfather was French Creole raised by a German brother-in-law..grandmother pure-D Irish). My mother was teased so badly when she moved to N.O. (16 yrs old) that she spoke perfect Yat within a year. I can still hear my late father saying stuff like he "got he's hair cut" or "youse gonna spill dat." I still say "St. Ant'ny!" As I said before: Cayoudle (or however it's spelled).