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Arts & Culture

NOLA Speak: The New Orleans Streetcar

In this NOLA Speak episode of GoNOLA TV, some of our favorite locals explain how you must always refer to the rail car as a streetcar and never a trolley.

Before you begin your trip down to the Big Easy, you may want to take a little dive into our lingo. One simple way to single yourself out from the locals? Call the streetcar a “trolley.” Yes, really. Our historical streetcar line has been around for more than 60 years and although no one really knows exactly when the distinction was made, there are no exceptions.  Don’t believe me? Take it from these local celebrities and next time you see our vintage rail vehicles sliding down St. Charles, you’ll know just exactly what to call it. To continue your New Orleans street wise education, check out the rest of the videos in the NOLA Speak series.

Like this video about the New Orleans streetcar? Check out the GoNOLA TV YouTube channel for more great videos about New Orleans.

Video Transcript:

Slab: A streetcar may look like a trolley and it may sound like a trolley,
but it’s a streetcar. It’s not a trolley.

Mr. Jerome: It’s not a trolley.

Fleurty Girl: It just is one of those things that make New Orleans, New

Jeremy Davenport: In San Francisco, it’s a trolley. In New Orleans, it’s a
streetcar. Honestly, it bothers me when people call it a trolley, because
it’s a streetcar.

Bryan Batt: I nicely correct them. I say, “Oh, here we call it a

Mr. Jerome: It’s not a trolley car either.

Slab: No.

Batt: It’s just a different colloquial, you know pronunciation. Everyone
has their-you know we don’t say praline. We say praline and pecan, not

Slab: A streetcar is a streetcar, remember that.

Mr. Jerome: That’s right.

Fleurty Girl: It just fits.

Batt: End of story; streetcar.