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cattywampus or cattywompus

A discussion of slang and the changes it undergoes.

cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby eberntson » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:20 pm

adj. - something that is askew.
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
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Re: cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby Slava » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:17 pm

Talk to me here. What are you trying to say? I don't know what you are looking for with this post. :?
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Re: cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby eberntson » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:28 pm

Sorry, I was interrupted typing this must have saved it.

My questions, what is this word. "catty"+"wampus" with nothing to do with "askew" in my mind. Wompus was a game humting a Wompus and refers to the monster itself. Catty is related to "cater" meaning multiple corners, and comes from Norther German. There seems to be a cluster of word that are all related, i.e. catawampus, kittywampus (slang), skewampus, catercorner. Although there is no definite source and I can't find a timeline for the word. It is obvious slang, so I don't think it is a "real" word.
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns
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Re: cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:41 pm

Well, you taught me some things anyway. I always assume the cat referred obscurely to the feline persuasion. I also hear both cattycorner and kittycorner. Reckon these are related to the wompus or possibly a wombat?
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Re: cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby gailr » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:28 pm

Catercorner is from out of square. Common English speakers tried to impose more familiar words onto this sound, regardless of whether the result made any more sense: catty-corner, then kitty-corner. I think the Good Doctor did an essay on folk etymology, especially with regards to this word.

Cattywompus is an example of people talking a word like catercorner through a series of folk etymologies until they just start making things up completely. U.S. English is replete with rather ridiculous 'words' which are fun to say. :wink:
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Re: cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby Slava » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:37 pm

Aye, the Good Doctor has been here and done this.
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Re: cattywampus or cattywompus

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:38 pm

The out of whack words discussed in this thread have never entered my vocabulary or caused me to give any pause as to their meaning.
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