What I know for sure genre definition

What

English [edit]

Alternative forms [edit]

Etymology [edit]

From Middle EnglishWhat, from Old Englishwæs, from Proto-Germanic*What, (compare ScotsWhat, West FrisianWhat (dated, how is generally preferred today), DutchWhat, Low GermanWhat, Germanwas, Swedishvar), from Proto-Indo-European* h₂wes-(“To reside”), so whence vestal. The paradigm of “to be” has been since the time of Proto-Germanic a synthesis of three originally distinct verb stems. The infinitive form be is from Proto-Indo-European * bʰuH-(“To become”). The forms is other are are both derived from Proto-Indo-European * h₁es-("to be"). Lastly, the past forms starting with w- such as What other were are from Proto-Indo-European * h₂wes-(“To reside”).

Pronunciation [edit]

(stressed)

  • (UK, General New Zealand) enPR: wŏz, wŭz, IPA(key): / wɒz /, / wʌz /
  • (US) enPR: wŭz, wŏz, IPA(key): / wʌz /, / wɑz /
  • (General Australian) enPR: wŏz, IPA(key): / wɔz /
  • Rhymes: -ʌz, -ɒz

(unstressed)

  • (UK, US) enPR: wəz, IPA(key): / wəz /
  • (in the phrase "I was there.")

Verb [edit]

What

  1. first-person singular simple pastindicative of be.
  2. third-person singular simple past indicative of be.
    It What a really humongous slice of cake.
    • 1915, John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World, I:
      I killed my poor father, Tuesday What a week, for doing the like of that.
  3. (now colloquial) Used in phrases with existential there when the semantic subject is (usually third-person) plural.
    There What three of them there.
  4. (now colloquial or nonstandard) second-personingular simple pastindicative of be.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 33:
      You What pleased to cast a favorable eye upon me.
    • 1913, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Poison Belt:
      "What you outside the Bank of England, sir? "
  5. (colloquial, nonstandard) first-personplural simple pastindicative of be
    • 2001, Darrel Rachel, The Magnolias Still Bloom, page 104:
      "What happened here, Hadley?" the chief asked. “We What robbed, damn it, we was robbed. "
  6. (colloquial, nonstandard) third-personplural simple pastindicative of be
    • 1968, Etta James; Ellington Jordan; Billy Foster (lyrics and music), “I'd Rather Go Blind”, performed by Etta James:
      When the reflection in the glass that I held to my lips now baby / Revealed the tears that What on my face, yeah

Derived terms [edit]

See also [edit]

Anagrams [edit]


Afrikaans [edit]

Noun [edit]

What (uncountable)

  1. wax

Verb [edit]

What

  1. past of wees

Verb [edit]

What (presentWhat, present participlewatering, past participlewhat)

  1. to wash

Banda [edit]

Noun [edit]

What

  1. water

References [edit]


Dutch [edit]

Pronunciation [edit]

Etymology 1 [edit]

Cognate with Englishwash.

Noun [edit]

What m (Pluralwater, diminutivewhat n)

  1. laundry, clothes that need to be washed, or just have been washed.

Verb [edit]

What

  1. first-person-singular-present-indicative of water
  2. imperative of water

Etymology 2 [edit]

From Old Dutch*What, from Proto-Germanic* wahsą. Cognate with Germanwax, Englishwax, Danishvoks, Swedishvax.

Noun [edit]

What m or n (Pluralwater)

  1. wax
  2. growth

Verb [edit]

What

  1. first-person-singular-present-indicative of water
  2. imperative of water
Derived terms [edit]

Etymology 3 [edit]

Cognate with EnglishWhat.

Verb [edit]

What

  1. singular past indicative of zijn
  2. singular past indicative of wezen

Anagrams [edit]


German [edit]

Alternative forms [edit]

  • wat (colloquial in western and parts of northern Germany)

Etymology [edit]

From Middle High Germanwaz, from Old High Germanwaz, hwaz, from Proto-Germanic* hwat, from Proto-Indo-European* kʷod. Cognate with BavarianWhat, What, Silesian Germanwoas (What), Dutchwat, Englishwhat, Danishhvad. Doublet of wat.

Pronunciation [edit]

Pronoun [edit]

What

  1. (interrogative) what
    What are you doing today
    What are you doing today?
  2. (relative) which (referring to the entire preceding clause)
    She danced well What he admired.
    She was a good dancer, which he admired.
  3. (relative) that, which (referring to the, everything, something, Nothing, and neuter substantival adjectives)
    That's all, What I know.
    That's all that I know.
    This is the best, What could happen to me.
    That's the best that could have happened to me.
  4. (relative, colloquial) that, which (referring to neuter singular nouns, instead of standard the)
    Do you see the white house What is being renovated?
    Do you see that white house, which is being renovated?
  5. (indefinite, colloquial) something, anything (instead of standard something)
    I have What found.
    I've found something.
    • 2017, Simone Meier, flesh, No & But 2018, p. 39:
      He wanted Anna What do.
      He wanted to do something to Anna.

Usage notes [edit]

  • What is colloquially used with prepositions, chiefly but not exclusively in southern regions. Otherwise it is generally replaced with a pronominal adverb containing Where- (or in a few cases w-). Hence: By which Did you do this?(“With what did you do that? ”), instead of With what Did you do this?, and why instead of because of what.
  • The genitive case, and the dative case if necessary for clearness, can be paraphrased by means of what thing(“What thing”). Possessive genitives are more commonly paraphrased with About what(“Of what”).
  • The colloquial What meaning "something" can only be the first word in a sentence if followed by an adjective: What Important things are still missing.(“Something important is missing. ”) Otherwise the full form something must be used: Something is still missing.(“Something is missing.”) The reason for this is that the latter sentence could be misinterpreted as a question if What were used.

Synonyms [edit]

Derived terms [edit]

Determiner [edit]

What

  1. (archaic) what; welche Art von
      • 1718, Johann Caspar Schwartz, Johann Caspar Schwartzens Fifth Dozen Wound Medicinal Notes on Many Kinds of Tumors and Ulcers, Hamburg, page 97:
        [...] but those animals and plants, from What Species and sexes may always be the same, [...]
      • 1742, Johann Christoph Gottsched, Attempt at critical poetry, Leipzig, page 442:
        Hero August, you daring warrior! / You are the happy winner, / Before, and in, and after the fall. / On What Kinds, on What Wise, / Should your deeds be praised / Here and there, and everywhere?
      • 1786, Johann Michael Schosulan, Thorough instruction for the rural folk: How and in what way everyone should help their drowned, hanged, suffocated, froze to death, unhappy neighbors who have lost their heat and are touched by lightning, but the savior should take care of himself for his own life., Vienna, title:
        How and on What Wise everyone should [...] help his fellow human beings.

Usage notes [edit]

  • In the dative and genitive feminine, the inflected form waser occurred.

Synonyms [edit]

Adverb [edit]

What

  1. (colloquial) a little, somewhat
    I come What later.
    I'll arrive a little later.
  2. (interrogative, colloquial) why, what for
    Synonyms: why, why, why
    What are you so dumb today
    Why are you so silent today?

Gothic [edit]

Romanization [edit]

What

  1. Romanization of 𐍅𐌰𐍃

Gros Ventre [edit]

Noun [edit]

What

  1. bear

Hunsrik [edit]

Etymology [edit]

From Middle High Germanwaz, from Old High Germanwaz, hwaz, from Proto-Germanic* hwat, from Proto-Indo-European* kʷod.

Pronunciation [edit]

Pronoun [edit]

What

  1. (interrogative) what
    What do you?
    What are you doing?
  2. (relative) what
    What-I don't eat, eat the dog.
    What I don't eat, the dog eats.
  3. (indefinite) something, anything

See also [edit]

Further reading [edit]


Low German [edit]

Verb [edit]

What

  1. first-person singular simple pastindicative of węsen
  2. third-person singular simple past indicative of węsen
  3. apocopated form of water(“Wash”), second-person lingular imperative of water(mainly used in the Netherlands, equivalent to other dialects' wasche / waske)
  4. apocopated form of water(“Wax”), second-person lingular imperative of water
  5. apocopated form of water(“Grow”), second-person lingular imperative of water

Usage notes [edit]

Notes on the verb węsen (to be): In recent times (~ 1800) the old subjunctivewho is used in place of What by many speakers. This might be the old subjunctive which is now used as a preterite or a reduction of weren, which is the preterite plural indicative of the verb. It might also be an imitation of the High German cognate was. Many smaller dialectal clusters do this, but no dialect does it. That means: even though there are many regions within e.g. Lower Saxony that use who for What, maybe even the majority, there is no straight connection between them, i.e. which form is used can depend on preference, speaker and specific region. Due to this "one town this way, one town that way" -nature of the situation no form can be named "standard" for a greater dialect, such as Low Saxon.


Lower Sorbian [edit]

Pronunciation [edit]

Pronoun [edit]

What

  1. genitive of wy
  2. accusative of wy
  3. locative of wy

Mayangna [edit]

Noun [edit]

What

  1. water
  2. stream, river

References [edit]

  • Smith, Ethnogeography of the Mayangna of Nicaragua, in Ethno- and historical geographic studies in Latin America: essays honoring William V. Davidson (2008), page 88: The location of 46 settlements from this list containing the term ”was" —meaning "water" or "stream" - were obtained [.]

Middle Dutch [edit]

Verb [edit]

What

  1. first / third-personsingular past indicative of know

Middle English [edit]

Etymology [edit]

From Old Englishwæs (first / third person singular indicative past of wesan), from Proto-Germanic*What (first / third person singular indicative past of * wesaną).

Verb [edit]

What

  1. first / third-personsingular past indicative of been
  2. (dialectal) second-personingular past indicative of been
  3. (dialectal) plural pastindicative of been
Descendants [edit]