What’s “Waddn ‘n’ Gawmn”?

When I was growing up, my grandmother and great-grandmother had some peculiar things they’d say about what it was we’d done as a family or been up to.

One was “we killed a bear“. As a kid, I thought this meant my dad and grandparents went out and actually had hunted one down. I wondered where the hide was. Later, I learned it meant we either bit off more than we could chew or we accomplished a daunting task, usually of a food related nature.

Another was “might as well, can’t dance“. This was another one that made me go “huh?” as a kid. Of course we could dance, though none of us did, so why even bring it up? Then I realized it meant there weren’t any real alternatives to a proposed idea and since none of us danced, we might as well go ahead and do it.

The last was “waddin ‘n’ gawmin“. I have no clue as to the real roots of these words, though I think ‘waddin’ has to do with chewing (a wad of tobacco, I’d guess) and ‘gawmin’ in the UK meant ‘foolish’. Given the Southern origin, it’s probable it meant “standing around looking foolish”. My dad thinks it meant “to be up to no good”, but I don’t know. My grandmother would use it when folks were either talking about plans but hadn’t decided on anything or we were just sitting around commiserating. Basically messing around and wasting time.

I stumbled on the idea of calling my comic Waddin ‘n’ Gawmn while running. My grandmother passed a little over a year ago, and this phrase was uniquely her. I wanted to describe the point of my comic and the family related content with a family related phrase. Seems perfect.

Messing around and wasting time. Waddn ‘n’ Gawmn. Welcome to my comic.

Here’s a Phish song about that very thing…

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