I came across the use of whomperjawed, a word I hadn't heard before. I couldn't find it in Onelook or dictionary.com, though I did find whopper jawed in World Wide Words, with an excellent discussion. The consensus is that it means "askew."
Now, I did find it on the Internet in the Urban Dictionary and in a site called Texas Talk. In fact, the author of this article was a Texan.
Do you know this word? Is it maybe used across the pond? WinterBranch, are those Texas phrases true to life? There are some funny phrases and words there, like "waller", a vague verb of many uses!
I like it. If you trust the "dictionaries", there seem to be regional variations in its meaning.
[This message was edited by Hic et ubique on Thu Oct 16th, 2003 at 18:19.]
FWIW, the article by Quinion on Whopper-jawed is at http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-who4.htm
Ah, now I do know whopperjawed! I belong to several other trans-pondian message boards, and the subject came up when I used the word gobsmacked. Gobsmacked is now a word in regular use in certain parts of the US (I am reliably informed) and whopperjawed has indeed found its way into my vocabulary (and you won't believe the expression on my husband's face the first time he heard me use the word!)...
Well, Tsuwm reminded me that it had been a word of the day in WWFTD.
Can't say I've ever heard it used, though. Ros, do you know in what part of the U.S. it's used?
'Waller' is one that I've not heard used, unless someone has an odd pronunciation of 'wallow'.
A lot of the other's are pretty common. 'Ah'mo' and 'fixin ta' especially.
'Hissy fit' is a Texasism? I had no idea!
Actually some of the words she writes about are I think just sort of southern or country expressions, or only used to purposely give someone's speech a more colorful edge.
I was surprised to not see the expression "Drunker 'n Cooter Brown", which is one of the most Texas-y expressions I've heard.
Hissy fit' is a Texasism?
Nah, it's Southern, not just Texan. And Cooter is a pretty common nickname - or used ta wuz. My maternal grandfather was called by that very appelation in South Carolina.
I assume that some of these words here are taken from the Texas Talk site that Kalleh mentioned. You might judge the quality of that site from this entry: "Like a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest. (I assume this would mean you're extremely frustrated, or perhaps out of place, or dumb as box of hammers.)"
That's nonsense. It's a familiar simile for "over-busy; harried".
PS in the same vein: the site lists as "You're wolverine mean" as a Texasism. As far as I can tell, the wolverine is an arctic/subarctic animal and its geographic range never extended anywhere near Texas.
[This message was edited by Hic et ubique on Sat Oct 18th, 2003 at 16:45.]
So it's an Appalachian appellation?
As far as I know, gobsmacked is only used by the people I communicate with on other boards, but I believe their families and friends are picking it up too. It is, after all, such an expressive word!
These people are spread thinly across the US, but it'll take a while before it comes into common usage there...