The Word Jawn May Soon Be In The Merriam-Webster Dictionary!
The word jawn is probably more beloved in Philly than the cheesesteak. Hell it may even surpass Wawa on the necessity chart. Jawn has been woven into the Philly lingo and is so distinct, that if used outside of the city folks will automatically know where you’re from. Now the word is about to get its just dues as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary moves to incorporate the word.
That’s right jawn will be as much of a word as axicolous, idiosyncratic, or anomalistic. In a recent post of Merriam-Webster’s “Words We’re Watching,” they broke down the purposed origin and significance to the Philly culture stating. “According to linguists, jawn comes ultimately from the word joint via New York City. Joint is an old word: it dates back to the 1200s and referred initially to the point where two bones meet. This idea of “meeting” eventually led to “joint” being used to refer to disreputable places where criminals met.”
Fast forward to today and jawn is the placeholder for every person, place or thing to a Philadelphian. For the longest, folks outside of the region would have you repeat your words to make sure you’re saying jawn and then follow up with the inevitable “What does that mean?”
As Philadelphians we will rejoice when the word is officially part of the English language, although I am sure many English teachers will not be looking forward to grading essays. Can you imagine a student describing the Great Gatsby? “Jay Gatsby was a millionaire who threw extravagant jawns but didn’t attend them jawns but hoped to impress this jawn living across the jawn.”
However, it seems that not too many scholars are worried about jawn ruining the English language as the University of Pennsylvania tweeted:
So although it’s not officially a done deal it looks like jawn is well on its way of becoming a global word. Meaning people from every corner of the world will be speaking with a little Philly swag. We definitely love the sound of this jawn.