April 19, 2012
zydeco (noun)
\ZYE-duh-koh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: 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
How do you use it?
During our vacation in Louisiana we heard zydeco for the first time, and we danced so much we were sore by the end of the trip.
Are you a word wiz?

No one is entirely sure where the word "zydeco" comes from, but word scholars have theories. One of the answers below is the most likely origin; we made the rest up. Which answer do you think is really considered the likely origin of "zydeco"?

Dance for joy if you picked A! The word "zydeco" first entered English around 1960, and is probably a shortening of the French words "les haricots," or "the snap beans." What do snap beans have to do with zydeco music? A popular dance tune among certain Louisianans in the 1940s and '50s was "Les Haricots Sont Pas SalÚs," or "The Snap Beans Don't Have Salt." Word scholars believe that as this type of music became more popular and more well-known, it became known by the Cajun pronunciation of the first words of that title, which sounds something like "zydeco."
Archive RSS Feed