Who Dat for What Dats
The Sho-nuff Handbook and Dishin-ary of da Who Dat Nation.
The 2010 U.S. census records the nationality of every American. By far, the people who have seen the greatest population increase in the last decade is the American Who Dat Nation.
The Who Dats began in the southern Mississippi River valley of Louisiana in 1967, though at that time, they were known only as Coonasses. Primarily of French descent, language, and customs, the Coonasses are an amalgam of other various peoples including Spanish, African, Native American, English, Italian, and West Indian, all of whom at one time or another inhabited or occupied the City of New Orleans and the surrounding region.
One of the cultural cornerstones of the Coonass people lies in their ritualistic devotion to the local professional football franchise, the New Orleans Saints. It is through this relationship that the Coonasses, around 1986, would become known as the Who Dats.
Unlike many rallying cries and slogans, the origin of the term ‘Who Dat’ was not the result of deliberate cheer writing or cleverly-crafted marketing, but was taken from the very tongue of the people who came to be known by that name.
The common question to posit when inquiring about the identity of a particular person is to ask “Who is that?” In the easy and informal speech of Coonasses, the question can be prefixed with any specifying information, for example, “Who is that said my butt was big?”
When speaking English, the Coonass’ heavy French accent, seasoned with the southern drawl born of bucolic living, imparts a lazy muscality to their speech. Thus, “Who is that?” is spoken as “Who dat?” Indeed, the phonetic ‘th’ sound is pronounced as a ‘d’ in most words or as a ‘t’ in others.
Therefore, “Who is that thinking they are going to throw the ball on fourth-and-one?” may sound like “Who dat tinkin dey gone trow de ball on fort-n-one?” when spoken in Who Datish (courtesy of Bobby Hebert).
Around the early to mid 1980’s, the proud Coonass fans of the Saints were often heard to shout in response to a team victory with the exultation, “Who dat say dey gone beat dem Saints?!!” The prevalent use of this cheer made many begin to refer to a Coonass as the [one who says] ‘who dat’ or, of all Coonasses, the ‘Who Dats’. And so, the Who Dat Nation came to be.
To get you used to hearing and speaking the Who Dat language, the remainder of this work will be written in Who Datish.
De impact of de Saints on de Who Dats cannot be underestimated. When de Saints’ effort on de field is half-hearted, de Who Dats go to work only half-hearted.
When de Saints call in sick on Sundy, de Who Dats call in sick on Mundy.
When de Saints played like dey had bags over dare heads, de Who Dats wore bags over dare heads.
When de Saints work hard and win, de Who Dats party hard and call in sick on Mundy.
Tru de first 17 hundid years of de Saints existence, de Who Dats were lef wit no utter trophy den de banner of hope for de next season. Den one day, a miracle happened.
De Saints won de Subabowe.
As de fame of de Saints grew, de Who Dat nation grew widdit. Many folks around de country and around de worl have join de Who Dat Nation. Derefore, to hep wid becoming accussomed to de Who Dat culture, I bring our new membas dis handbook dat dey can use wheneva dey visit N’yorlins or when encounerin’ a Who Dat in de casino or in public.
To start off, here are some helpful definitions of common Who Dat words:
dare – there
dis – this
dat – that
de – the
doan – don’t
dun – done
wit – with
aks – ask
N’yorlins – de Who Dat capitol city
Katrina – a hurricane
Hurrikin – a sweet, but potent drink
Mardi Gras – French for ‘fat Tuesdy’, a festival where all de Who Dats have fun
Sanes – de N’yorlins Saints
Dirty Birds – de Atlanta Falcons
Panners – de Carolina Panthers
Tammabay – de Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Blag ‘n’ go – de Saints colors
Subadome – where de Saints play home games
innastay – de highway dat leads to de Subadome
Quarta – where Saints fans celebrate
krunk – extreme excitement and/or fun
synanym – de same as a word
annanym – de opposite of a word
hommanym – a word dat sounds de same
mamanym – your mother and family
Nes year – obsolete term
Next, we will take a look at some different kinds of Who Dats:
Blue Dat – police officer
Boo Dat – ghost
Brew Dat – barrista
Choo Dat – train engineer
Clue Dat – detective
Crew Dat – boat captain
Cue Dat – actor
Do Dat – handyman
Drew Dat – artist
Few Dat – U.S. Marine
Flew Dat – airline pilot
Foo Dat – Asian
Fu Dat – karate instructor
Glue Dat – craftmaker
Grew Dat – farmer
Jew Dat – banker
Moo Dat – cattle rancher
New Dat – bandwagoner
Poo Dat – baby/pet
Pru Dat – defendant
Roo Dat – Australian
Rue Dat – street person
Screw Dat - hooker
Shoe Dat – farrier
Shoo Dat - exterminator
Slew Dat – assassin
Spew Dat – intoxicated Who Dat
Stew Dat – chef
Sue Dat – attorney
Threw Dat – quarterback
True Dat – witness
Two Dat – twin
View Dat – spectator
Woo Dat – suitor
You Dat – Kim Kardashian, et al
Zoo Dat – caged animal
Finally, I’ll give some common Who Dat phrases accompanied by the appropriate Who Datish response:
“Escuse me, where’s de baa-troom?”
“What time it is?”
“’Bout dat time.”
“Can I have a room?”
“Is dis what you want?”
“Dats it.” Or “Not dat.”
“Are you ready to go home?”
"How's ya mamanym?"
“Who dat!” when alone or “We dat!” with a group, Also see “You dat!” above.
“Are you goin’ to de game?”
“How ‘bout dem Sanes?!”
“You wanna nudda beer?”
“Yes, please, thank you very much.”
Well, I hope dis helped all you New Dats out dare and if you need furder assistance, just aks any Who Dat you see. Dey are always polite and ready to help dare neighbor and any fellow Who Dat who needs it.
Welcome to de Who Dat Nation and we’ll see you in de Quarta.
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