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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2015-03-04 15:57:23

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1097

'screw-whiff' for 'skew-whiff'

Skew-whiff describes all that is crooked, askew, not straight, disheveled etc. Less than handy men like myself tackling DIY tasks may find that screws and, even more so, nails, insist on entering wood, walls or whatever in exactly this manner. The sensation of being visited by misfortune, being screwed may explain this eggcornish variant. Another, “slew-whiff”, is less common, but perhaps even more descriptive.

It is often just as easy to put something straight as it is screw whiff. Also there is a little thing called pride in your work ,if you do not have that …

Greeting four fashion students to a highly anticipated exhibition was a post-it note hung screw-whiff on the wall with a scribble stating ‘Everyday Is a New …

With hormones all screw whiff I am not 100% sure it is going to work but what the hey! I hope all the other ttcers are OK and I wish them all the …

As I managed to leave my book with match details somewhere in the club due to consuming to many sherbets this report might be slightly slew whiff.

The American equivalent, apparently, is skewgee, which just as readily absorbs that r:

What I built was so screw-gee, it tipped it tilted it toppled it…so I stared for a while then got CLOTHESLINE, tossed it over the roofing beams (or …



#2 2015-03-14 15:33:31

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2804

Re: 'screw-whiff' for 'skew-whiff'

Never heard this phrase. I had to ask a British relative about this—apparently skew-whiff is widely used in the UK. Nice find.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#3 2015-03-16 05:42:01

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2519

Re: 'screw-whiff' for 'skew-whiff'

The version I remember was skewjaw or sometimes skewjawed . It definitely did not refer only to the jaw, but applied/applies (I think I still use it) to anything rotated or twisted away from its rightful position, generally so as to fit only awkwardly or not at all.

There is a legitimate screwjaw(ed) (think of a vise-grip and how the jaw is adjusted by screwing), but this looks like our messed/screwed-up eggcorn:

[computer simulation of human and animal forms] I’m currently working on the downturned-toes problem. It’s much more pronounced with pets, having legs and arms screwjaw.

btw, skewjaw seems to be quite rare; this is the only clear example I found (I may have missed another or so, but there are not hundreds or even dozens) on Google:

The more you tried to control, the more there was to control, and it all went skewjaw in the end because nobody could control everything and it was futile

That fits exactly the usage I’m most used to: everything/things going skewjaw on you. This site lists it as equivalent to skewgee . This site thinks skewjaw(ed) was probably original and squeejaw developed from it.

There may be some sort of connection with skewjawed fish —is it sockeye salmon whose lower jaws grow and warp to where they won’t close right?

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2015-03-16 05:47:13)

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#4 2015-03-19 19:27:46

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1668

Re: 'screw-whiff' for 'skew-whiff'

Here are some squeejawed riffs on skew whiff. The last one might even make sense.

Only done 3000 Klms, no off road or towing and the Bullbar is all skew with !!! can’t even open the bonnet it’s that bad.
Product review, AU

Photobucket has decided to go skew-riff and all images arnt being displayed.
stereo forum

Do you think we, as a society, have our priorities arse about?
Yes thats very skew rift…the druggie should have gotten 6 weeks

What would they know….they have them all screw rift..
Steven Seagal fan board

I’m sticking with the ASC, although the badge is mounted somewhat skew-width. … 776/page-3

What infuriates me is when they deliberately park between a lamp post or tree and a garden wall just to to make doubly sure no one can pass. Also parking skew-width across the pavement.
Street life in Bury



#5 2015-03-22 12:10:49

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1097

Re: 'screw-whiff' for 'skew-whiff'

There is an Appalachian term for this – sigogglin or si-godlin. There is also an anti-gogglin/si-antigodlin, which is the opposite of si-goggling – going off at an angle to the left rather than the right. Nails do both for me, but I’m probably psi-goggling some faraway notion rather than hammering mindfully.



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