Cattywampus! is that a real word? Meaning and example.


Did you heard someone saying “he fell down all cattywampus”. Or “cut the blocks attentively or it will go cattywampus”. Then did you think what did he say haven’t heard of it before! Well, one of the commonly used words in the Southern States of the US. But it certainly might be a new word for you if you are not from the south.

Definition or Meaning

  • The meaning of cattywampus is something arranged disorderly, awry, askew, or incorrectly.
  • Cattywampus also means something being all over the place in a chaotic manner.
  • Another meaning of cattywampus is something not being adjacent to or across from a place.
  • positioned diagonally

pronounciation: kat-ee-wom-phus

parts of speech: adjective, adverb

People often pronounce this word as catawampus, caddywampus, or cadawampus.

People from southern US or midland use this word frequently.

it is also an informal word.

Example in sentence: Her book shelf looks like a cattywampus and you cannot find anything there.

The ice-cream shop is cattywampus to the regional bank office.

Origin of Cattywampus

We found the first time there was a use of the cattywampus was in 1834. The meaning of it then was completely or avidly. Which later came up with a new meaning. The first part of the word ‘catty’ relates back to the word cater. And the second part of the word wampus has no formal meaning. But this can be similar to a Scottish slang wampish. Wampish meaning wriggling or twisting around.

Another origin of this word is from the Greek prefix ‘kata’. Kata in Greek meant downward or toward. And the wampish was holding the same meaning as described before.

As a matter of fact, the southern United states people used it as a slang.

By 1840 the Britishers only used it as a word to tease Americans. But later from 1864, it became popular with the current meaning which is askew, crooked, or awry. However, the recent meaning also is diagonally placed or positioned.

Also read: How to add money to cash app card through cash card accepting store.

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