Wo-day in the Faubourg Marigny

020 Wo-Day
Another thing I love about New Orleans is the fact that you often run into humorous signs, graffiti or slogans in many neighborhoods of the city. One night in the Marigny neighborhood I ran into this sign that had been altered from “One Way” to “Wo-Day.” “Wo-day!” is the way a lot of New Orleanians say “wodie”, a customary greeting to a friend whose origins are somewhat murky at best. Conjecture has attributed the term as deriving from “wardie”, someone from the same ward of New Orleans as the speaker, as the city is divided into 15 historical wards that are still used as locations, especially by Black residents. But I’ve never liked the “wardie” theory much, since it doesn’t seem to fit, particularly as I can’t figure out how the pronunciation “wodie” would spring from “ward.” On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to hear a New Orleans resident say “Whoa, now!” when running into a friend on the street, and I have wondered if “wodie” derived from that. At any rate, New Orleans rappers used the term much like Memphis rappers used “roadie”, which derived from “road dog”, one’s friend. It doesn’t seem as common now as it did during the heyday of Cash Money Records and No Limit Records, but it is still occasionally heard.

One Reply to “Wo-day in the Faubourg Marigny”

  1. In New Orleans some persons changed several “One Way” traffic signs to “WO DAY” signs. “WO Day” is a name given to a famous New Orleans skateboarder, Warren Day” who died in an accident in the French Quarter in December 2014. When his friends saw him perform his skateboard tricks they would say, “whoa Day” which was written on the signs as “WO DAY.” Scroll down Warren’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/warren.day.18 and you will find “WO Day” painted on the side of a railroad car.

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