By now, you’ve probably heard the word. It’s turning up in all sorts of unexpected places, so imagine my surprise when the newscaster used it twice during the weather report. I’ve heard it before, but my mouth dropped open anyway because no one expects to hear that lingo during a weather forecast. Now, a Merriam-Webster tweet is circulating about potentially putting the word in the dictionary.
“Jawn,” I’m learning, is a unique-to-Philly word. It’s an all-purpose noun. People still use it, and if you need to learn more about its origins, check Google. This word, like many, should only be used by those who know how.
That’s a funny concept, but it’ll encourage people to mangle the dialect. Remember how you laughed at your parents when they used teen lingo? Right on? Jawn, right on, shade, cooyan—when you don’t quite know how to use the word, leave it to the experienced. What word do you wish people knew how to use?