“You’re Not From Around Here, Are Ya?”

It’s always difficult when moving to a new area. In addition to physically moving all your belongings, you’ve got to learn your way around, and that includes learning to “speak local.” Below you’ll find some helpful tips so that you’ll sound like a native when you arrive at Fort Polk.

  • Parish / County:  Louisiana parishes are the equivalent of counties in other states.
  • Loo’-zi-ann’-ah: Louisiana.
  • Ell’-ick: Short for Alexandria, LA. Some people try to shorten it to Alex or Aleck, but that’s not how we say it.
  • Nack’-i-dish: Natchitoches, LA. Don’t get confused if you hear someone talking about Nack’-a-dough’-chez – they’re probably referring to Nacogdoches, TX.
  • Bō’-zyur: Bossier City, LA or Bossier Parish
  • Man’-ee: Many, LA
  • Cal’-ca-shoe: Calcasieu River or Parish. Originally the name of an Atakapa leader and means “Crying Eagle.”
  • New Lon’-oh or New Lan’-oh: New Llano, LA. The original founders of New Llano were a Socialist group who moved here from California to escape political persecution and financial problems. Their town in California was called Llano (Yon’-oh), with a Spanish pronunciation, and you might still come across some old timers who refer to it this way, but most people enunciate the “L”.
  • An’-a-co’-ca: Anacoco, LA. Some sources say it refers to the Caddoan word for “muddy sands.”
  • Ki-satch’-ee: Kisatchie National Forest. Derived from the Kichai Indians of the Caddoan Confederacy.
  • Anacoco Lake / Vernon Lake: Vernon Parish contains two man-made lakes. The first one was created in 1951 when a spillway was built on Anacoco Creek and it was naturally named Anacoco Lake. Twelve years later, the second, larger lake was built. It is also on Anacoco Creek and is closer to the village of Anacoco, LA, but because that name was already in use, the second was named Vernon Lake.
  • “The” Lake: refers to Toledo Bend Reservoir, another man-made lake located just outside Vernon Parish. The other, smaller lakes are referred to by their specific names.

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A native of Vernon Parish, Mary Ann enjoys a large family, with six children, nine grandchildren and, the latest edition, one great-grandson. She loves reading, history and learning new things -- currently she's teaching herself to play the ukulele. Though she admits it's pretty obvious she'll never be a star player, she finds it to be very relaxing. She loves the outdoors and dreams of some day having her own little homestead. In the meantime, she spends as much time as possible in the outdoors, fishing or working in her yard.

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