1. Describing an object or movement, with the first part out of line with the second part.more...
2. The motion of a vehicle which has the front axle alignment slightly offset from the back axle alignment, causing the vehicle to track diagonally as it moves down the road.
3. The motion of an any animal that runs or moves with its body slightly diagonal to the forward direction, similar to a cat.
4. Parts out of alignment.
5. Something that just doesn't work out.
6. A crooked object.
7. A haphazard arrangment of things.
8. A wildcat in the Tennessee woods.
Pronunciation: cat-a-wom-puss (or) cat' whom-puss
Catwampus is usually preceded by the words "run", "went", "slightly", or "kinda".
Origin: From the word Wampus, a Tennessee and Kentucky hillbilly slang name for the legendary mountain lion or wildcat. Wildcats run fast with their hind legs very offset to one side from their front legs. They are often afraid of humans and therefore are often viewed from the rear as they are running away.
Also spelled: cat'wampus, cat-wampus, cattywampus, catawampus, caddywampus, catawompas, caddywhampus, catterwampus, catterwhompus.