Moon Knight’s plot continues to unfold as we get to see more of Steven Grant’s personality in relation to the things that are happening around him. Episode 2 of Moon Knight allowed us to see Steven donning the Moon Knight suit, albeit a different one. He used the power of the suit to stand up to the jackal that was chasing him around, as he punched the beast and screamed “wagwan.” So, what does wagwan actually mean?
Wagwan is actually a Jamaican slang that was often used in the Caribbean during the 90s. It means “what’s going on?” in Jamaican slang. Due to the relationship between the Caribbean countries and Great Britain and the growth of Jamaican music, the term has made its way to the UK.
While we do know that there is a specific meaning for the wagwan term, the way Moon Knight used the slang kind of put off some fans of the series because of how the term was used in a different concept. Nevertheless, that’s something that we are here to look at as we get to learn more about how Moon Knight used the wagwan term in the series.
What Does Wagwan Mean?
It isn’t uncommon for different cultures and countries to adapt the terms coming from the slang language of different cultures around the world. After all, we are living in a smaller world due to the fact that traveling and technology have made it possible for us to easily communicate and share our culture with different countries. Of course, being one of the more inclusive fictional universes on screen, the MCU has always made sure to include different cultures in their movies and shows.
In Moon Knight, we got to see a different culture getting featured in the series, albeit for a single second. That was when Steven Grant yelled “wagwan” during the climax of episode 2 of Moon Knight.
However, those who are unaware of the meaning of this term or are not from the countries and regions where wagwan is often used probably don’t know what this term means. So, what does wagwan actually mean?
Moon Knight actually starts out in London, as Steven Grant fancies himself to be English. Oscar Isaac himself also does a great job in handling his English accent throughout the entire series, despite being born in Guatemala. However, the Wagwan term actually isn’t English or British in terms of its history.
Wagwan is actually Jamaican in terms of its roots and was often used in the Caribbean during the 90s. The term is actually just a shortcut that means “what’s going on?” and was used together with nagwan, which means “nothing’s going on.” The term became popular in the 90s when it was often used in Jamaican and reggae music.
Due to the long history and the relationship between the UK and the Caribbean islands, the term was able to reach the shores of Great Britain in the form of Jamaican and reggae music that also became quite popular among the British. As such, the British also adopted wagwan as one of the different terms that they used.
This is one of the examples of how inclusive the MCU is when it comes to its use of different cultures and how it allows us to learn things that come from different countries all over the world. Nevertheless, the manner in which wagwan was used in Moon Knight wasn’t exactly true to its real meaning.
Wagwan Used In The Context Of Moon Knight
As mentioned, it was Steven Grant who used the term wagwan in Moon Knight. This happened in the heat of the moment when he was donning the Moon Knight suit in the form of his own version, which is the Mr. Knight suit in comics. He was forced to use the suit when Layla was urging him to wear it after Harrow summoned a jackal to chase them and retrieve the golden scarab in Steven’s possession.
During that scene, Marc Spector was urging Steven to hand him control of their body so that he could use the real ceremonial armor of the Moon Knight to fight the jackal. Of course, Steven didn’t want to give control to Marc because he didn’t want to feel what it’s like being on the inside looking out, which was something that he was not used to because he was often unconscious when Marc took over in the past.
Because he didn’t want to give control to Marc, Steven decided to take matters into his own hands to fight the jackal. Thanks to his augmented strength while wearing the suit, he was able to clock the jackal with a punch that sent the beast flying. After that, he said, “Wagwan! I did it! You got clarted!”
Basically speaking, he used the wagwan term in a manner that’s similar to a celebratory cheer after making the jackal feel the strength of his punch. This wasn’t in line with the actual meaning of wagwan, and that meant that fans weren’t exactly happy. There were fans who took to Twitter to make their disappointment known.
While it might be true that Steven Grant used wagwan in a manner that isn’t exactly in line with its meaning, it is worth noting that he isn’t exactly the most cultured person in Moon Knight. Steven is portrayed to be a nerdy loner who might be smart enough to know a lot about Ancient Egyptian culture but might not be knowledgeable about his own culture. This explains why he probably doesn’t know how to properly use wagwan, which is a term he might have heard from different people in England or from the songs he heard while commuting to work.