what's the matter

what's the matter

What is the difficulty or problem? What troubles or ails you? For example, You look upset-what's the matter? or Can you tell me what's the matter with my car? This idiom uses matter in the sense of "the essence of something," in this case a problem. It was first recorded in 1469. Also see what's with.
See also: matter
References in classic literature ?
Now, perhaps you'll mention what's the matter," said my sister, out of breath, "you staring great stuck pig.
Newfoundland dogs are pretty mild looking, you know; what's the matter with this one?
answered the waiting-woman; "but if I can't be of any service to you, pray tell me, madam--it will be some comfort to me to know--pray, dear ma'am, tell me what's the matter.
I wouldn't give a dern to know what's the matter of Phillips, I says to myself.
Well, I'm listening to what's to come," she said, calmly and ironically; "and indeed I listened with interest, for I should like to understand what's the matter.
The second-in-command of our fine country orchestrated the most ingenious plan ever this week with her very own hashtag: #Talktojoan Ooh, what's the matter darling, are Labour feeling a little left out?
Parents are concerned and wonder what's the matter, When kids don't exercise, they get fatter.
So, what's the matter with the tea party, according to those who think there is much the matter with it?
Guralnik had come up with the gist of the Higgs field in 1962, during his doctoral research, but an adviser forced him to take that portion out, saying "I don't know what's the matter with it, but it's not right.
The phone lines have been jammed since the morning I tried calling several times to find out what's the matter but couldn't succeed, then I got to know through Twitter that it had been hacked," said a concerned resident.
All this talk about building fancy buildings in North Docks - what's the matter with our city fathers?
The authors don't always offer a clear solution--in this case, they argue for lighter vehicles, smarter designs and less-rigid factories--but they get to the heart of what's the matter with the way we produce stuff and the shifts we'll need to see if we're ever to approach real sustainability.
QI DON'T know what's the matter with me, but I need help before I destroy all my relationships with people I care about.
When you have a child that young you just want somebody to tell you what's the matter with them.
YOGI BERRA, Hall of Fame catcher, when his wife told him she had seen the movie, Doctor Zhivago: "Oh, what's the matter with you now?
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