noun, often attributive
zy·​de·​co | \ˈzī-də-ˌkō \

Definition of zydeco 

: popular music of southern Louisiana that combines tunes of French origin with elements of Caribbean music and the blues and that features guitar, washboard, and accordion

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The History of Zydeco

You might say that the lively form of music known as zydeco is full of beans, etymologically speaking. Legend has it that the word zydeco originated in the lyrics of Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés, a popular Cajun dance tune. Loosely translated, the song's title means "the beans are not salty," and when spoken in French Creole, les haricots (French for beans) sounds something like "zydeco." "Zydeco" first appeared in print in 1960 and has been used to describe this kind of music ever since.

Examples of zydeco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At the pardoning ceremony Tuesday (Feb. 20), Emile was escorted down a red carpet in a crawfish trap to the tunes of a zydeco band before being plopped into an aquarium. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Arthur 'Mr. Okra' Robinson' remembered in The New York Times," 20 Feb. 2018 The King of Slideco, Sonny Landreth, performs at 7 p.m. with his blend of rock, blues and zydeco. Kathy Cichon, chicagotribune.com, "RiverEdge Park, Grand Victoria's Festival Park offer summers under the stars," 13 May 2018 The first took place on March 10 with Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, and the remainder of the season will feature a mix of zydeco, jazz, funk, and a special Allen Toussaint and Fats Domino tribute show. Kara Martinez Bachman, NOLA.com, "This spring, North Shore music fans have a plethora of options to catch outdoor concerts," 14 Mar. 2018 More than 100 performers will play blues, Cajun, zydeco, rockabilly, salsa and country tunes on seven stages. April Orcutt, latimes.com, "What's up for Mother's Day weekend: Events for May 10-13," 6 May 2018 Second-generation zydeco musician Curley Taylor, Mardi Gras Indian chief Victor Harris and blues rock guitarist Walter Trout also were on the interview stage. Washington Post, "Jazz Fest lagniappe: interviews, cultural exchange," 5 May 2018 The Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do Stage hosts largely Cajun fiddle and zydeco music, peppy stuff from Louisiana’s bayous -- but the intimate platform always throws in a handful of acts to mix it up. Paul De Revere, Billboard, "LL Cool J, Beck, Preservation Hall Jazz Band & More Prove Jazz Fest is 'Where It's At'," 5 May 2018 Servers don Mardi Gras beads and deliver frozen daiquiris and hurricanes against a backdrop of zydeco music and chipper, colorful decor. Malcolm Mayhew, star-telegram, "Tasting samples, 'lagniappe' add to appeal of The Lost Cajun in Mansfield | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 20 Apr. 2018 All genres of accordion music are welcome, including conjunto, zydeco, Cajun, polka and more. Houston Chronicle, "Family Fun: Lunar New Year and weiner dog races," 14 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zydeco.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of zydeco

1955, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zydeco

perhaps modification of French les haricots beans, from the Cajun dance tune Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés

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Time Traveler for zydeco

The first known use of zydeco was in 1955

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English Language Learners Definition of zydeco

: a type of lively popular music originally from southern Louisiana

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