phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Facebook  Twitter


Posted by Smokey Stover on July 20, 2005

In Reply to: Nother posted by Maria on July 20, 2005

: I notice people use the phrase "and whatnot" and after reviewing the comments posted on your website, I am still not clear if they are using it properly.

: It seems as if the word is meant to refer to various knickknacks or the shelf holding knickknacks, but has become used in a similar fashion as et cetera. Are they using it properly? Can you please provide further clarification on the proper use of the phrase?

: Additionally, I have noticed people ending sentences with "and what have you" in a way similar to how they use "and whatnot". I used the phrase finder and could not find "and what have you". Can you tell me something about this phrase.

: Lastly, can you please confirm that "nother" is not a proper word. I did not believe that it was but people who disagree with me have referenced me to websites that give a definition as if it is.

: Thanks very much. MJB

A what-not is (or can be) a piece of furniture on which is placed some small, ornamental (in your eyes) objects called what-nots, which get this name from lists of such objects which end "and what not." On this list, what-not is a sort of question: "What is not on the list?" Or "what not?" You could also end the list "and what-all" or "and what have you" or "et cetera.." "What have you" is another question without a question mark. "All this and whatever you have else," or "What else do you have?" It, like the others, is meant to be inclusive, but not specific, like "et cetera," which means "and the remaining ones." So it is as though your grandmother (or mother) had an étagère hanging on the wall or sitting in a corner which she called an "et cetera" (sc. what-not), on which she placed her et ceteras (sc. what-nots) which are called et ceteras because that word comes at the end of her list of little pieces of junk--excuse me, curios, Hummel figurines, toy soldiers, what have you, that are going to wind up on her étagère.

Nother. The word "nother," when preceded by "a," that is, "a nother," can be respelled "another," which means "an other." But there are a number of uses in which it is, or was, treated as a real word, a variant on other. Those uses are mostly archaic or obsolete, sometimes used only in a small area. You must give some context if you wish to know more precisely what it may mean. So nother CAN be a real word, with a distinctive meaning; or it can just be a mistake. SS

Comment Form is loading comments...