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Vocability: Laissez les bons temps rouler

Published 7:00am Saturday, March 1, 2014

Picayune has had a wonderful Mardi Gras season thanks to the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Picayune Arts Council.

Mardi Gras is a French word for Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

The day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning “confess.” I have it on very good authority from a certain Anglican Priest that in parts up north, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated with pancake breakfasts and lots of sweets.

There is no denying the French influence and origins of the season so here are some terms you know to be associated with the seasonal festivities and their French counterparts. You may already know them but as always, the answers are at the bottom of the column.

On Fat Tuesday and always, remember Le slogan de mardi gras ~ Mardi Gras slogan “Let the good times roll,” which is translated literally into French as Laissez les bons temps rouler.




1. Le vocabulaire

2. Une babiole

3. Un bal masqué

4. Un bijou

5. Le capitaine

6. Un char

7. Un collier

8. Un costume

9. Le courir

10. Une couronne

11. Un défilé

12. Un déguisement  —

13. Un doublon  —

14. Une effigie  —

15. Un feu de joie

16. Un flambeau

17. La foule

18. Un krewe

19. Un mardi gras

20. Le masque

21. Une paillette

22. Une perle

23. La plume

24. La reine

25. Le roi




A. Costume ball

B. A person who really gets into celebrating Mardi gras

C. Mardi gras organizer

D. Feather

E. Crown

F. Bonfire

G. Mardi Gras vocabulary

H. Costume

I. Mardi gras run

J. Parade

K. Jewel

L. Trinket

M. Disguise

N. Make a Mardi gras mask

O Doubloon

P. Effigy

Q. Necklace

R. Float

S. Captain

T. Sequin

U. Torch

V. Bead

W. King

X. Crowd

Y. Queen




1.G; 2. L; 3. A; 4.K; 5. S; 6. R; 7. Q; 8. H; 9. I; 10. E; 11.J; 12. M; 13. O; 14.P; 15. F; 16. U; 17. X; 18. C; 19. B   20. N; 21. T; 22. V; 23. D; 24. Y; 25. W.

  • Tracy Ballard-Vogel

    Hi. I like your listing of French words, but I am confused by the beginning statement of this article. What “wonderful” season did Picayune have? What events happened? My family would have loved to enjoy Mardi Gras here in Picayune, but saw nothing about any events to participate in. Please clarify what was so wonderful?

  • right2myownopinion

    I’m assuming they mean the parade, which I missed AGAIN, because I saw no announcement about it. Missing it, was not a big deal for my kids. I’ve been living here for nearly a decade. It’s always the same old, same old. Yawn…..

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