A bayou ( /ˈbaɪ.oʊ/ or /ˈbaɪjuː/) is an American term for a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying areas, and can refer either to an extremely slow-moving stream or river (often with a poorly defined shoreline), or to a marshy lake or wetland. The name "bayou" can also refer to creeks whose water level changes due to tides and which hold brackish water which is highly conducive to fish life and plankton. Bayous are commonly found in the Gulf Coast region of the southern United States, notably the Mississippi River region, with the state of Louisiana being famous for them. A bayou is frequently an anabranch or minor braid of a braided channel that is moving much more slowly than the mainstem, often becoming boggy and stagnant. Though vegetation varies by region, many bayous are home to crawfish, certain species of shrimp, other shellfish, catfish, frogs, toads, American alligators, American crocodiles, and a myriad of other species.

The word was first used by the English in Louisiana and is thought to originate from the Choctaw word "bayuk", which means "small stream". The first settlements of Acadians in southern Louisiana were near Bayou Teche and other bayous, which led to a close association of the bayou with Cajun culture.

Bayou Country is most closely associated with Cajun and Creole cultural groups native to the Gulf Coast region generally stretching from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama, and picking back up in South Florida around The Everglades with its center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

An alternative spelling "buyou" has also been used, as in "Pine Buyou", used in a description by Congress in 1833 of Arkansas Territory.

They are similar to the Australian Billabong.

Read more about Bayou:  Notable Examples

Other articles related to "bayou":

Bayou Dupre
... Bayou Dupre is a bayou in southeastern Louisiana. ...
La Bayou
... La Bayou is a casino located on the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada ... La Bayou is also one of the few casinos in Las Vegas that still has slot machines that cash out in real money ... purchased the nearby business of Mermaids Casino, La Bayou, and Girls of Glitter Gulch ...
Louisiana French - Language - Bayou Lafourche French
... Particular mention should be made to the Francophones of Bayou Lafourche ... Some Francophones along Bayou Lafourche pronounce the G and J in French as the English letter H (as done in Spanish), and others pronounce these two letters in the ordinary manner of other Francophones ... there may be a linguistic link to the Creole Hispanophones living at the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche junction, who were more numerous than the Acadians who lived in the immediate vicinity ...
Louisiana Highway 57 - Route Description
... It proceeds west along Bayou Sale Road and makes a brief dip to the south before heading in a general northerly direction for the remainder of its route ... In Dulac, LA 57 intersects LA 3011 which proceeds briefly to the southeast along Bayou Caillou ... LA 57 then crosses Bayou Dulac and continues north toward Houma on Grand Caillou Road ...
Bayou - Notable Examples
... Bayou Bartholomew Bayou Lafourche Bayou Teche Cypress Bayou Bayou St ... John Big Bayou Canot Buffalo Bayou Bayou La Batre ...