Dan Nosowitz wrote about the word jawn for Atlas Obscura and its linguistic ubiquity:
The word “jawn” is unlike any other English word. In fact, according to the experts that I spoke to, it’s unlike any other word in any other language. It is an all-purpose noun, a stand-in for inanimate objects, abstract concepts, events, places, individual people, and groups of people. It is a completely acceptable statement in Philadelphia to ask someone to “remember to bring that jawn to the jawn.”
It is a word without boundaries or limits. Growing up in the suburbs just west of the city, I heard it used mostly to refer to objects and events. In the 2015 movie Creed, a character asks a sandwich maker to “put some onions on that jawn.” But it can get much more complex. It can refer to abstract nouns such as theories; a colleague of Jones routinely refers to “Marxist jawn.” It can also refer to people or groups of people. “Side-jawn,” meaning a someone with whom the speaker cheats on his or her significant other, “is a uniquely Philly thing as far as I can tell,” says Jones. “And not something you want to be.”
The only time I’ve ever heard the word ‘jawn’ or used it was in context to a song or beat. Here are some articles where I’ve used the word:
- Benji B Interviews Madlib On Radio 1 Show “Exploring Future Beats”
- Dave Redi – Monologic
- Jay Alpha – Cult.Differences
It is versatile!