(1) Your point of view, as imagined by someone else: "Is that OK bayou, then?" Never meant sincerely.
(2) A small but hurtful piece of water. More correctly but less colorfully pronounced as "bay ow". The hurt may be caused by a large number of biting amphibious mud-suckers, over-aggressive mosquitoes, or simply by falling out of a boat onto sharp, pointy sticks, which happen to be quite common in these waters.
(3) Water that is wet but not really happy about it.
This form of water never raises its voice in song, doesn't burble or prance gaily, splashingly, or otherwise, down a sunshine-dappled mountainside covered with mossy boulders and speckled with brilliantly-colored flowers.
This water does not roar mightily or make giant sucking sounds, though some of the things that live in it might. In fact most of them do. Often. During the hours of darkness.
Pretty generally speaking, this is water that is severely, clinically depressed.
Dark, sluggish, barely moving, bayous are as one expert has said "usually located in low-lying areas" unlike your hilltop-dwelling lakes or your cliff-hugging rivers or your artesian wells that just squirt up right out of nowhere and go zooming around all over, making happy cackling sounds.
No, folks, the Choctaw Indians had it right. For them the word was "bayuk", meaning either "a small, sluggish stream" or alternately, as we more highly educated individuals might put it now, a bay of yuk, a pit of muck, a miasma of regret.
Your average bayou is clogged with creepy soft wet plants that you're afraid might follow you home, and is a natural habitat for lots of semi-conscious angry things with strange evil desires and too many legs. Things you might have dreamed of once, but were relieved to find, in the light of day, didn't really exist.
Well, they do exist after all, and lurk in bayous, and they're waiting for you to come for a visit some day, and then they'll show you what "depressed" is all about. Yessir, they just may.
Your education will commence when you hear that sucking sound right behind you, coming your way.
Source: How to talk in the woods.