Those who have grown up or resided in southeastern Pennsylvania are more than likely familiar with one extremely Philadelphian word.
“Jawn,” as we Philly cats call it, is often “used to refer to a thing, place, person, or event that one need not or cannot give a specific name to.” It’s kind of like a regional word mashed up with an inside joke shared by an entire metropolitan area, so it can be confusing to those not in the know—which ESPN’s Jay Bilas evidently found out in an “egg on his face” kinda way.
On Christmas afternoon, Bilas tweeted out a photo of a standard-looking pizzeria shaker of Parmesan cheese with a cleverly-worded label that reads, “Parma Jawn.”
“Kids: Stay in school,” he commented.
Kids: Stay in school. pic.twitter.com/0DcVDQ4QMM— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) December 25, 2019
The “Parma Jawn” image has been floating around on the interwebs since June of 2018, where it first surfaced on Twitter, before spreading to Reddit and Imgur.
It’s unclear how or why Bilas happened to come across the image, which—to be completely fair to the former NBA center—would indeed seem like an amusing misspelling out-of-context.
Unfortunately for him, the people of Philadelphia are not exactly known for being, shall we say, a forgiving lot, and poor Bilas’ tweet was received accordingly. Many informed him of the error of his ways.
“And this item, quite correctly to Philadelphians, is Parma Jawn. And it is properly spelled,” Twitter user @sillybellysally responded.
The Philly is strong with this one. https://t.co/1rwoXhIp3k— Aches Tons (@EightTons) December 26, 2019
And this item, quite correctly to Philadelphians, is Parma Jawn. And it is properly spelled.— Sally Whitley (@sillybellysally) December 26, 2019
Logged on just to make this point. This is parma jawn, and there's American jawn, brie jawn, and of course cheesesteak jawn.— Progressive Twit (@ProgressiveTwit) December 26, 2019
This def a Philly pizza shop https://t.co/mKfJUjxj1v— Ass-phyxiation (@lemon__zestt) December 26, 2019
Totally a Philly parmesan shaker.— Trill Self (@Jaminrawk) December 25, 2019
Yet others were, uh, less kind to Bilas.
“IF ONLY THEY PAID MORE ATTENTION IN CHEESE CLASS,” one user joked.
IF ONLY THEY PAID MORE ATTENTION IN CHEESE CLASS https://t.co/T7QlRrIYeU— DVS (@DVSblast) December 25, 2019
Even Luke friggin’ Skywalker himself got in on the fun.
“You misspelled skool,” Mark Hamill tweeted in response.
You misspelled skool. https://t.co/6sM58I1L3j— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 26, 2019
Bilas may want to perhaps rethink his next visit to Philly, lest there be a snowball with his name on it.