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Finally! The truth about Crawfish, Crayfish, and Yabbies.

So which is it folks? What’s the correct name for those little critters that Bayou Boils & Catering likes to toss in a giant boiling pot by the hundreds. Whether you call them crayfish, crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, mountain lobsters, river lobsters, or yabbies—yes some people call them yabbies—the chances are that you have a friend that calls them one thing, and you think it sounds weird.

Here at Bayou Boils & Catering, we know that Cajun catering is more than just crawfish boils and fried catfish. We know there’s a deep question that’s been eating you up like hungry uncle Mike eating up a pile of boiled mudbugs at one of our catered events. Well, today we’re going to get a little bit linguistic and of course a little bit Cajun on you as we discuss the origins of the word crawfish and settle this debate once and for all.

If you’re a clever person, you might would guess that the name comes from something like this: crawl + fish = crawlfish, which over time just changed into crawfish. After all, the little guys crawl around don’t they? We’d give you one golden hush puppy for that educated guess, but you are not correct. Also, you get a golden hush puppy if you thought maybe it came from claw + fish = clawfish, but again, you ain't right.

To get to the bottom of this word we gotta dig deep into the mud of time and linguistic forces that change language over time like the ever-flowing waters of the mighty Mississip’. First, let’s take a look at the French word for crawfish, écrevisse (EH-kruh-vees). Now just make the sounds kruh and vees a few times together. Go ahead, we'll wait.

It’s really that simple. Basically, English speakers anglicized the word écrevisse by turning the kruh into craw and the vees into fish. Oh yeah, and they dropping the EH for some reason—probably the same reason that America has become