How do you pronounce Bayou?

So, how do YOU pronounce B-a-y-o-u? I pronounce it BY-YOU. Here in Burkett, I am in the minority.  Individuals here try to tell me I’m pronouncing it incorrectly.  They claim that it is pronounced BY-OH. As a matter of fact I have only discovered one other person here who calls it BY-YOU. Susan also pronounced it BY-YOU, and it sometimes infuriated her to hear it pronounced BIO.

I looked it up in the dictionary and the preferred way is BY-YOU., but it is also accepted as BIO.  When we have the argument about the pronunciation, I always ask “How do pronounce YOU?”  Silence!  Everyone agrees that you is pronounced U., but they will not admit that it should be pronounced BY-YOU.  I asked an individual who actually grew up in New Mexico, how he said “bayou” before he came to Texas.  He said that he didn’t remember.  He calls it BIO simply because his wife( who grew up here in Burkett) says BIO. He is the one who gives me the most grief about the pronunciation.  And on top of that, he is a retired schoolteacher.

Anyway, I’d like to know how the readers of this blog pronounce BAYOU.  And speaking of the Pecan Bayou, last month April 20th, was the highest I have ever the Bayou.  We have a five feet high boundary marker and the water was a good foot above the post.  On the other side of the bridge our neighbor’s land is fairly flat and the Bayou was approximately three hundred yards across.  Tremendous amount of water.  Then last week the Bayou came down again and it was about four feet lower than last month, but it was still impressive.

Once again, I have to apologize for not posting sooner.  I have no excuses.  But, I again ask forgiveness.  Life on the Bayou does go on. I would be lying if I said that I did not miss Susan, and the love she had for this Bayou.

May you have a blessed day, month, year, life.



18 responses to “How do you pronounce Bayou?

  1. I pronounce it the way you do. By-you. Linda Ronstadt did a song called “Blue Bayou” and pronounced it the same way.

  2. “Bio” comes from the Creole culture of Louisiana, which spread into Texas. No better authority thank Hank Williams, who is gonna pole the pirogue… well listen for yourself:

    • Try that again: “Bio” comes from the Creole culture of Louisiana, which
      spread into Texas. No better authority thank Hank Williams, who is
      gonna pole the pirogue… well listen for yourself:

  3. Bayou is a french word. When I took French in high school our teacher pronounced it by oh. But having moved to TX from PA 35 years ago I find my pronunciations have changed to match my surroundings. However I refuse to pronounce library – lie berry.

  4. I looked up the words to the song pictured above by Hank Williams as I thought he pronounced it BIO, and it would seem that that is the way the words would rhyme:

    Good-bye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh
    Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
    My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh
    Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

    That’s just the chorus. One of the main crops in the area where I live is almonds. Here, however, it is pronounced “ahmonds,” and the joke is that the tree knockers knocked the “l” out of them. But people buy Almond Joys. Go figure!

    And I come from Missouri, pronounced Missourah if you’re from there.

    But I’m with you Ernie. I myself pronounce it BiYOU!

    It’s good to hear from you. And I imagine that the rain is appreciated though a little scary at times.


  5. Hi Ernie, I have always said BiYOU, and we miss Susan, too.
    Thanks for your contuned posting,
    Lisa in Alabama

  6. BOH … when in Rome do as the Romans do! lol I grew up in neighboring Mississippi. We often visited Nawlins (New Orleans) and BATinRoo (Baton Rouge). I dearly love the Louisiana dialect!

  7. I’m with you Ernie with the pronunciation of Bayou. I’m only from the UK so perhaps my vote won’t count for much. But surely it is a French word and we are next to France! Lovely to hear from you again and keep well. Xx

  8. I say biyou. While were are talking pronunciation, the state I live in is VIRGINIA, not FERGINIA. Come on, people, it is a V!


  9. I said Byo until I met a couple that said they lived on the By you. Then if I caught myself, I also said. By you. Great to hear from you again.

  10. You hang in there Ernie. I’m sure it’s BY-YOU. Just tell them that they talk funny.


    The mountains are calling And I must go…


  11. I have always pronounced by-you because that is how our relatives in Mobile pronounced it.

  12. I have to agree with you, Ernie. Now granted, I have never lived in the south, but I’ve only ever heard it called by-you. Bio just sounds weird! 😊

  13. By you. Just sayin.
    since I grew up with you correcting my speech, I’m sure incorrect pronunciation is driving you nuts. LOL :)

  14. Looks like your way of saying bayou is winning. I’m with you. Great to hear from you and knowing that you are doing well. Take care.