catawampus

[ kat-uh-wom-puh s ]
/ ˌkæt əˈwɒm pəs /
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.

adjective

askew; awry.
positioned diagonally; cater-cornered.

adverb

diagonally; obliquely: We took a shortcut and walked catawampus across the field.

Origin of catawampus

1830–40 for earlier sense “utterly”; cata- diagonally (see cater-cornered) + -wampus, perhaps akin to wampish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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