Understanding A Louisiana Native Part 2

Written By Galen White

In case you missed my last article, I’ve been tryin’ to educate some of the folks who may find it difficult understanding the how’s and why’s of Louisiana natives. The entire world knows we are a wee bit different, what with our spicy foods, strong drink, and colorful language. So, being the nice guy I am, I have elected to pass on to you some of my education and experiences.

Speaking of what we eat and drink, a Louisiana native refers to any soft drink, carbonated water, soda, soda pot, or cola, as Coke. For example, “What flavor Coke you want? Orange, grape or strawberry?”

Now, when I was only knee-high to a grasshopper, we called flavored drinks “Nehi belly-washers” because Nehi was the brand name. Cokes were “sodee waters” or “soda pops”. After I got an education, though, I, like everyone else, began using the term “coke” for every soda pop other than Nehi belly-washers.

It is a fact that a Louisiana native has little use for knowing mileage. Folks from other parts of the world may tell you it is 19 miles from Homer to Minden and 50 miles from Homer to Shreveport. Those of us who’ve lived here our entire lives know its about 20 minutes to Minden and about an hour to Shreveport.

So, how do you tell if you fit the mold of being a true-blue Louisiana native? One way is if you understand that question right there. “How do you tell” also means “how do you know”. You see, one must “know something” in order to “tell” it. Anyway, here are a few tips.

If you switch your central heat and air from “heat” to “air” in the same day, you are probably a Louisiana native. Such action will also ignite thoughts of deer season, of which you believe opening day should be a national holiday. And if you remark that a 100 degree F day is “a little warm”, well…, that’s another good indication.

If you go to the grocery store to pick up spices and you pick up all four (salt, pepper, ketchup, and hot sauce), most likely, you are a Louisiana native. Further proof comes if you refer to the chain store as “Wally World”, and refer to the containers your groceries are put in as “sacks” rather than “bags”.

Have you ever installed security lights on your house and garage, yet leave both unlocked? Have you ever seen a vehicle parked in a parking lot but with the motor running, and with no one in it no matter what time of year? Do you know what “cow-tipping” is? Have you ever been snipe hunting?

Do you prefer homemade mayhaw, plum, “musky-dime”, or blackberry jelly over store-bought apple or grape jelly? Do you feel biscuits that come in a cardboard tube should be call anything but biscuits? Do you refer to white bread as “light” bread? Oh, yeah, we also prefer “salad dressing”; not mayonnaise?

Do you believe a small mixture of honey and whiskey is good for a cough? Do you further believe that adding more whiskey will cure anything that ails you? Okay, maybe it won’t “cure” everything, but enough of it and you won’t care if it does or not!

Do you describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as “good chili weather”? Have you ever been skinny dippin’? Ever climbed a saplin’ high enough to bend it over to the ground, then push off with your feet and bounce up and down on it?

Do you have a set of jumper cables in your vehicle……, for your own car or truck? Do you have more than one drawer in your kitchen that contains junk, but refuse to clean it out because something in there may be of use one day?

If you answered “yes” to more than two or three of the above questions, you  might be a Louisiana native after all. Of course, there is one last question. It, perhaps, is the most telltale.

Do you pronounce it “Lou-easy-anna” or “Loozy-anna”?

That answers that!



Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.






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