If I had any shame, I would probably delete the first post on the Jawns Jawn in which I assume that, because I only began hearing the word jawn at an epidemic rate in the last 9 months, it's a recently-coined term. My roommate (mentioned in the same post) conducted an informal survey at her office last week. How old is the term? Her co-workers' average guess was 10 years. Then, just last night at a party, another friend claimed to have seen a behind-the-scenes documentary on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in which West Philadelphia's favorite son Will Smith drops jawn--at least 10, if not 15, years ago.
At any rate, even though it's an apparently an old school Philly term, these same Philly natives agree that it's resurged lately. So, the blog is still in business, and the three of us will continue to document our search for as many possible shades of meaning as we can find attributed in actual speech to the word jawn. You can help, too. Please send your overheard conversations to email@example.com.