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Cajan

[key-juh n]
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noun, plural Ca·jans, (especially collectively) Ca·jan for 2.
  1. a member of a group of people living in parts of the South, especially Alabama, whose ancestry is a mixture of white, black, and possibly Indian.
  2. Cajun.
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Origin of Cajan

see origin at Cajun

Cajun

or Ca·jan

[key-juh n]
noun
  1. a member of a group of people with an enduring cultural tradition whose French Catholic ancestors established permanent communities in Louisiana and Maine after being expelled from Acadia in the late 18th century.
  2. the French dialect of the Cajuns.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Cajuns, especially those of Louisiana: Cajun cooking.
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Origin of Cajun

1875–80; aphetic variant of Acadian; compare Injun for Indian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cajan

Historical Examples

  • Cajan is the local term for the plaited fronds of a coco-nut.

    Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon

    J. Emerson Tennent

  • I scribbled in pencil—which you can erase with a bit of bread—some notes on the Cajan song, that may interest you.


British Dictionary definitions for cajan

Cajun

noun
  1. a native of Louisiana descended from 18th-century Acadian immigrants
  2. the dialect of French spoken by such people
  3. the music of this ethnic group, combining blues and European folk music
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adjective
  1. denoting, relating to, or characteristic of such people, their language, or their music
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Word Origin

C19: alteration of Acadian; compare Injun for Indian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cajan

Cajun

1868, Cagian, dialectic pronunciation of Acadian, from Acadia, former French colony in what is now Canadian Maritimes. Its French setters were dispersed and exiled by the English and thousands made their way to New Orleans in the period 1764-1788.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cajan in Culture

Cajun

[(kay-juhn)]

A native of Louisiana believed to be descended from the French exiles from Acadia (see Nova Scotia). Cajuns have maintained a separate culture, including a special dialect and distinctive cooking style.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.