Who is Who Dat?
by Erin Z. Bass With all of the hubbub over who owns the phrase, "Who Dat," Deep South decided to do some research. I'd actually seen the Wikipedia entry for the phrase a couple of weeks ago after a friend questioned the saying, so I knew it had been around for a while, but I wasn't sure when or how Saints fans started using it. I certainly had no idea that the NFL had, or thought they had, any rights to it, and assumed "Who Dat" was just one of those charming things New Orleanians like to say. The big question in the media and on Twitter this week is can "Who Dat" be owned, or is "Who Dat" for Saints fans, created by Saints fans. According to its Wikipedia entry, the chant "Who Dat" originated in minstrel shows and vaudeville acts in the late 1800s. The first reference is believed to be in the song, "Who Dat Say Chicken in This Crowd," written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, a native of Ohio whose parents had escaped from slavery. The New Orleans connection to Dunbar seems to be that his wife graduated from what is now Dillard University. "Who Dat?" was a common tag