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Whomperjawed

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October 16, 2003, 09:27
Kalleh
Whomperjawed
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! Big Grin
October 16, 2003, 18:10
Hic et ubique
I like it. If you trust the "dictionaries", there seem to be regional variations in its meaning.But I'm more convinced by actual usage, in which it seems the Appalachian meaning is "a bit nonsensical", and the Texas meaning is "shocking, flabbergasting". I have only one Appalachian quote (9th paragraph). But Molly Ivins, a Texas columnist whom Kalleh has previously cited here, reglarly provides examples of the Texas "whomperjawed":
quote:
The manipulation of mutual funds -- nice, safe, comfortable old mutual funds -- is a story heating up nicely. In addition, if you are following the trial of Frank Quattrone in the nasty case of manipulating high-tech IPOs, you already have been whomperjawed over the goings on.

Regarding the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission:
[Governor] Richards' appointees were a man with more than a decade's experience as an administrator in state environmental agencies; a woman county commissioner from Austin, a town notoriously full of tree huggers and whale savers; and a woman county judge from West Texas, where they equally notoriously do not hug trees -- they don't even have trees. [Successor] Bush replaced this trio with three guys so sympathetic to big polluters it left Texas environmentalists whomperjawed.

It's reassuring to know that after three strikes, you're out of this administration. The question remains -- why in the name of sanity did George W. ever give Poindexter a job in the first place? Next up, we have the one that still leaves me whomper-jawed ... word that Colin Powell was on his way out.


[This message was edited by Hic et ubique on Thu Oct 16th, 2003 at 18:19.]
October 17, 2003, 02:51
arnie
FWIW, the article by Quinion on Whopper-jawed is at http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-who4.htm
October 17, 2003, 09:44
Ros
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!)...

Ros
October 17, 2003, 14:06
Kalleh
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?
October 17, 2003, 15:53
WinterBranch
quote:
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!


'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.
October 17, 2003, 18:21
<Asa Lovejoy>
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.
October 18, 2003, 16:34
Hic et ubique
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.]
October 18, 2003, 16:37
Hic et ubique
quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
Cooter is a pretty common nickname - or used ta wuz. My maternal grandfather was called by that very appellation in South Carolina.


So it's an Appalachian appellation?
October 20, 2003, 02:38
Ros
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...

Ros