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Word of the Day
Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Definitions for catawampus

  1. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. askew; awry.
  2. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. positioned diagonally; cater-cornered.
  3. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. diagonally; obliquely: We took a shortcut and walked catawampus across the field. Also, cattywampus.

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Citations for catawampus
Dear me, everything has gone catawampus with me this week. I spoiled the bread, as you know too well--and I scorched the doctor's best shirt bosom--and I broke your big platter. L. M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams, 1917
The walls are a little catawampus to the foundation, time-tweaked and weather-warped at the corners. Dean Koontz, One Door Away from Heaven, 2001
Origin of catawampus
Catawampus is of uncertain origin, though its first element, cata- likely derives from the adverb cater meaning "diagonally." The second element may be related to the Scottish term wampish meaning "to wave about or flop to and fro." It entered English in the mid-1800s.