In James Blish's book Jack of Eagles, there is this dialogue:

"Shut the door, Tooey. So you're Danny Caiden. Your mother must of hung too much around the movies."

"The name's a corruption of a New Orleans term that would be familiar to anybody with two brain cells," Danny said evenly.

What New Orleans term is the name a corruption of, and what does the first speaker think it has to do with movies?


1 Answer 1


Likely this was a reference to Oscar and Golden-Globe winning actor Danny Kaye, who was very popular in the 1940s and 1950s. If his mother had been hanging around the movies, she would certainly have seen him in some of the biggest films of the day, including White Christmas, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Court Jester.

The "corruption" of the surname is almost certainly Caiden = Acadien, a term that would be instantly familiar to New Orleanians.

  • 4
    More like a corruption of Acadian. "Cajun" itself is a corrupt form of Acadian. Caiden would derive from Acadian rather than "Cajun."
    – JRE
    Nov 21, 2022 at 10:45
  • 1
    @JRE - You're not wrong.
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2022 at 14:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.