Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
August 11th, 2015
Episode 284 of 713 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 11, 2015 is: zydeco \ZYE-duh-koh\ noun : popular music of southern Louisiana that combines tunes of French origin with elements of Caribbean music and the blues Examples: The restaurant, with architecture that looks like it's straight from the French quarter of New Orleans, features authentic Cajun cuisine and live zydeco music. "Prepare your palates for a mouthful of Cajun and Creole fare and your dancing feet for a weekend of zydeco and blues beats, because the Long Beach Bayou Festival, now in its 29th year, has just announced its 2015 lineup." Asia Morris, Long Beach (California) Post, April 28, 2015 Did you know? 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 1949 and has been used to describe this kind of music ever since.