Down by the bayou vs. Along the bayouside

Marcio_Osorio

Banned
Portuguese
Hello! :)

Where does the difference between taking a calm walk down by the bayou and taking a calm walk along the bayouside lie?

Also, should we write bayouside or bayou side? My CD version of Webster's Third New International Dictionary does not seem to have any of these compounds. If Webster's gives riverside as a solid compound, then why not, by analogy, bayouside? Likewise if seaside appears as a solid compound, should bayouside appear as a solid compound as well?

Thank you.
 
  • Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    Marcio_Osorio said:
    Hello! :)

    Where does the difference between taking a calm walk down by the bayou and taking a calm walk along the bayouside lie?

    Also, should we write bayouside or bayou side? My CD version of Webster's Third New International Dictionary does not seem to have any of these compounds. If Webster's gives riverside as a solid compound, then why not, by analogy, bayouside? Likewise if seaside appears as a solid compound, should bayouside appear as a solid compound as well?

    Thank you.

    Since bayou is not used much outside of Louisiana and Mississippi (and a few places in Texas) the average English speaker will not be familiar with the word.

    If you decide you want to use the word bayouside, you may be the first to use it, so you can write it as you wish. :) The cajuns down in Louisiana would probably say côté de bayou anyhow. :)

    Since we say roadside, riverside, seaside, lakeside, and poolside, I doubt if anyone would object too much to the use of creekside, pondside, bayouside, swampside, streetside, laneside, trailside, puddleside, ...


    The expression:

    take a walk along the bayou

    would not really be changed if you replace bayou by bayouside in my opinion. From the little I know about bayous, the only way I see that one could walk along the bayou would be to walk alongside of the bayou or along the banks of the bayou.

    But one could conceivably take a walk down by the bayou without walking along the banks of the bayou. Down by the bayou to me just means in the general vicinity of the bayou. Of course, it would depend a lot on the lay of the land.
     

    Special K

    Member
    USA English
    Marcio_Osorio said:
    Hello! :)

    Where does the difference between taking a calm walk down by the bayou and taking a calm walk along the bayouside lie?

    Also, should we write bayouside or bayou side? My CD version of Webster's Third New International Dictionary does not seem to have any of these compounds. If Webster's gives riverside as a solid compound, then why not, by analogy, bayouside? Likewise if seaside appears as a solid compound, should bayouside appear as a solid compound as well?

    Thank you.

    The difference is, a person from Louisiana, Texas etc where they have bayous would say "down by the bayou" or "along the bayou" but they would never, ever use the term "bayouside." If you use it, you've made up a word.
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Edwin said:
    Since bayou is not used much outside of Louisiana and Mississippi (and a few places in Texas) the average English speaker will not be familiar with the word.

    If you decide you want to use the word bayouside, you may be the first to use it, so you can write it as you wish. :) The cajuns down in Louisiana would probably say côté de bayou anyhow. :)

    Since we say roadside, riverside, seaside, lakeside, and poolside, I doubt if anyone would object too much to the use of creekside, pondside, bayouside, swampside, streetside, laneside, trailside, puddleside, ...


    The expression:

    take a walk along the bayou

    would not really be changed if you replace bayou by bayouside in my opinion. From the little I know about bayous, the only way I see that one could walk along the bayou would be to walk alongside of the bayou or along the banks of the bayou.

    But one could conceivably take a walk down by the bayou without walking along the banks of the bayou. Down by the bayou to me just means in the general vicinity of the bayou. Of course, it would depend a lot on the lay of the land.

    I understand what you are saying here, Edwin, that English is flexible and we Americans are accepting of new words. I don't, however, think it is good advice to give English learners. I think the main goal of any foreign language learner is to be understood and learn the language as it is used. Bayouside sounds very strange to me. I think it is best to learn what is known and not to make up words no one has ever heard.
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    jacinta said:
    I understand what you are saying here, Edwin, that English is flexible and we Americans are accepting of new words. I don't, however, think it is good advice to give English learners. I think the main goal of any foreign language learner is to be understood and learn the language as it is used. Bayouside sounds very strange to me. I think it is best to learn what is known and not to make up words no one has ever heard.

    Jacinta, I did quibble. :) I said, "If you decide you want to use the word bayouside, you may be the first to use it, so you can write it as you wish."

    But actually I was wrong. It is used. I lived in New Orleans for 4 years and in Houston for a number of years off and on . They have bayous in both places. I should have known better.

    Googling shows not only is Bayouside a popular name for country clubs, bars, etc., down yonder in Louisiana, is also used in ordinary language--as the quotes below (from the web) show:

    ...downstream view of Bayou Teche from bayouside trail at the town park....
    The old oaks that stand along the bayouside were likely the oaks that provided stability to the first footbridge across Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge

    It’s become a regular drive for many Louisianians during azalea season, but summertime
    weekenders like it too, because the lush green bayouside and great ...
     

    abc

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    Marcio_Osorio said:
    Also, should we write bayouside or bayou side? My CD version of Webster's Third New International Dictionary does not seem to have any of these compounds. If Webster's gives riverside as a solid compound, then why not, by analogy, bayouside? Likewise if seaside appears as a solid compound, should bayouside appear as a solid compound as well?

    I'll look up the word bayouside or bayou-side to see if either version does exist. It sounds strange to most of us for bayou is not a very common term, but if we have bayside then the creation of bayouside shouldn't really raise eyebrows. It should be celebrated.;)
     

    abc

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    Edwin said:
    But actually I was wrong. It is used. I lived in New Orleans for 4 years and in Houston for a number of years off and on . They have bayous in both places. I should have known better.

    Googling shows not only is Bayouside a popular name for country clubs, bars, etc., down yonder in Louisiana..

    Well...Edwin is quite fast!;) Now I don't have to look it up in the heavy dictionary.:)
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    abc said:
    Well...Edwin is quite fast!;) Now I don't have to look it up in the heavy dictionary.:)

    I am coming to believe that Googling a word or phrase is a much better way to determine whether it is used than looking it up in the dictionary. Of course, as in all things that come from the web, one must interpret carefully what one gets. It is quite common to find misspelled and misused words, so it is not gospel. But in the case of bayouside, it tells us something useful I think.

    Also I think the ''bayouside'' discussion is a good example of the danger of saying something isn't used just because ''I'' haven't heard it. I am guilty of that myself, but I will try to do better in the future. :D
     

    kens

    Senior Member
    Canada - English
    Edwin, I'm not sure what googling a word tells us, exactly. That it's used, for sure, but how much? And how many people would consider it proper English? You get about 2,000 hits for "Bayouside" -- you could easily get the same amount of hits by typing in random letters. For some of the other unusual/incorrect words you mentioned above, I found:

    Creekside: 607,000 hits
    Pondside: 19,000 hits
    Swampside: 1,010 hits
    Streetside: 66,600 hits

    I don't think it says much about the correctness/incorrectness of a word by googling it. It may give some indication of how commonly it is used, but one must keep it in perspective: 2,000 hits means the word is extremely rare, in my opinion (especially since the vast majority of hits for "bayouside" are proper names, and therefore are not necessarily instances of English words).
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    kens said:
    Edwin, I'm not sure what googling a word tells us, exactly. That it's used, for sure, but how much? And how many people would consider it proper English? You get about 2,000 hits for "Bayouside" -- you could easily get the same amount of hits by typing in random letters.

    As I said,kens, if you google a word, you will have to examine what you get and decide on a case-by-case basis what the output tells you.

    However, I took up your challenge to google a random word: :)
    "xabyqzt" gives:

    Your search - "xabyqzt" - did not match any documents.
    No pages were found containing "xabyqzt".

    I also tried googling cabtghu and got:

    Your search - cabtghu - did not match any documents.
    No pages were found containing "cabtghu".

    Much better results can be obtained with random numbers. I think someone on sci.math found the smallest integer for which google gives no hits. On the other hand if you mangle a well-known word a bit, google very likely will give you some hits for it.

    For some of the other unusual/incorrect words you mentioned above, I found:

    Creekside: 607,000 hits
    Pondside: 19,000 hits
    Swampside: 1,010 hits
    Streetside: 66,600 hits

    I don't think it says much about the correctness/incorrectness of a word by googling it. It may give some indication of how commonly it is used, but one must keep it in perspective: 2,000 hits means the word is extremely rare, in my opinion (especially since the vast majority of hits for "bayouside" are proper names, and therefore are not necessarily instances of English words).

    I don't see anything wrong with the words creekside, pondside, swampside, streetside.

    As for bayouside the fact that it got so few hits is no doubt related to the fact that the word bayou itself is already rare. You will probably find bayous in only three states. It is interesting that the origin is not French, but something that the Louisiana French took from the Choctaw Indian word bayuk.

    If you lived near a swamp, for example, you might be more likely to hear swampside.

    In the case of bayouside, I admit that most uses are place names, but there are uses that clearly indicate that the word is used in a way analogous to riverside by some seemingly literate people.

    When I used to visit my cousin in Georgia we played in a nearby branch (as in bourbon and branch water). With that in mind I just googled branchside. Only 90 hits and all seem to be proper names. Indicative of how few call a creek, a branch.
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    kens said:
    Edwin, I'm not sure what googling a word tells us, exactly.
    86,200 Google results for mispelled, which we all know is the misspelled version of misspelled. If ever a statistic had a good chance to be misinterpreted, it's Google results. Not from any fault of Google, quite the contrary. It's a level playing field for every native, foreigner, kid, grownup, scholar and dunce, for every accidental or intentional mistake, for all the quotes and the quotes of the quotes...

    I get really nervous about using the quantity of Google results to make qualitative judgments about proper language usage.
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    lsp said:
    86,200 Google results for mispelled, which we all know is the misspelled version of misspelled. If ever a statistic had a good chance to be misinterpreted, it's Google results. Not from any fault of Google, quite the contrary. It's a level playing field for every native, foreigner, kid, grownup, scholar and dunce, for every accidental or intentional mistake, for all the quotes and the quotes of the quotes...

    I get really nervous about using the quantity of Google results to make qualitative judgments about proper language usage.



    I agree (as I already said). But if you look at specific items found by Google they sometimes tell you something. For example, in Google-found sentence

    It’s become a regular drive for many Louisianians during azalea season, but summertime weekenders like it too, because the lush green bayouside and great...

    certainly suggests to me that the word bayouside is used in Louisiana. And when I see several such sentences I am more convinced. But pure counts of Google hits on words, I agree, are normally not useful.

    But even if we are convinced by Google that a word is used, the question of whether or not it is proper (what ever that means) is something else.
     

    abc

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, Vietnamese
    Marcio, you're welcome!:)

    Edwin, Kens, and Lsp:

    We should examine the results and sources found on the Internet or otherwise and use our own knowledge and common sense before accepting the validity of the data. Quantity is good but without quality then it's really bad. I think everyone here has said this in one way or another.:) Well, I'm happy for bayouside.:)
     
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