LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — As Acadiana’s oldest and longest-running morning news show, most locals know the name of News 10’s Passe Partout. But you might not know what it actually means.
The French term “passe-partout” actually has a number of meanings. It was originally a term referring to a “master key,” literally meaning “passes anywhere.” Over time, the term also became associated with photography. Specifically, it means “a picture or photograph simply mounted between a piece of glass and a sheet of cardboard (or two pieces of glass) stuck together at the edges with adhesive tape.”
However, those are traditional French meanings. In Louisiana’s Cajun French, the term “passe-partout” took on a different definition– “all-purpose.” It also specifically refers to a type of two-handled saw that Cajun builders used to cut down cypress trees in the swamps of Louisiana for lumber. These saws, which many Louisiana residents have likely seen with colorful images painted on them, are a major part of old Cajun culture.
Below are a few examples of a passe-partout saw, courtesy of Acadiana Graphics’ Etsy page.
Though of course, for most people, Passe Partout means KLFY News 10’s morning news show from 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. each weekday morning.