/kay"jeuhn/, n.
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.
3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Cajuns, esp. those of Louisiana: Cajun cooking.
Also, Cajan.
[1875-80; aph. var. of ACADIAN; cf. Injun for INDIAN]

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Any descendant of French Canadians who in the 18th century were driven by the British from the captured French colony of Acadia (now Nova Scotia and adjacent areas) and settled in the fertile bayou lands of southern Louisiana, U.S. Many Cajuns speak a dialect of North American French.

U.S. census figures for Cajuns are deceptive; although in 2000 only some 85,000 people reported themselves to be Acadian/Cajun, the census form also included a French Canadian category, which may have confused the issue. Experts suggest that there are some 100,000 Cajuns in Texas and from 500,000 to 700,000 Cajuns in Louisiana. In recent decades Cajun cuisine, noted for its use of spicy seasonings, and zydeco music have become popular among non-Cajuns.

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▪ American ethnic group
      descendant of French Canadians whom the British, in the 18th century, drove from the captured French colony of Acadia (now Nova Scotia and adjacent areas) and who settled in the fertile bayou lands of southern Louisiana. The Cajuns today form small, compact, self-contained communities and speak their own patois, a combination of archaic French forms with idioms taken from their English, Spanish, German, American Indian, and black neighbours. They variously raise cattle, corn (maize), yams, sugarcane, and cotton, and a few still perform much of their own spinning, weaving, and other home crafts. Their separateness, though often their own preference, is also the result of the prejudice of the non-Cajuns against them.

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Universalium. 2010.

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