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"and what not"

Posted by ESC on July 15, 2005

In Reply to: "And what not" posted by Smokey Stover on July 15, 2005

: : : What is the meaning of the phrase "and what not". I hear people using it all of the time to end sentances but I do not understand the meaning.

: : whatnot
: : Main Entry: 1what·not
: : Pronunciation: 'hwät-"nät, 'wät-, '(h)w&t-
: : Function: pronoun
: : Etymology: what not?
: : : any of various other things that might also be mentioned. Paper clips, pins, and whatnot.

: Grammatically I think the phrase "what not" may have begun as an answer to the unspoken question "what?" or "what else?" namely, "what not?" You are aware, I imagine, that the word whatnot is sometimes used for a small piece of furniture often hung in a corner with shelves for "what all." SS

"Whatnots" are also the names of those little ornamental items -- knickknacks, dust catchers, etc. The place you put them is the whatnot shelf or table.

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