whys and wherefores


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Related to whys and wherefores: along the lines, without a hitch, take a back seat

whys and wherefores

All the underlying causes and reasons, as in She went into the whys and wherefores of the adoption agency's rules and procedures. This idiom today is a redundancy since why and wherefore mean the same thing. Formerly, however, why indicated the reason for something and wherefore how it came to be. [c. 1600]
See also: and, wherefore, why

the whys and wherefores

The whys and wherefores of something are the reasons for it. Even successful bosses need to be queried about the whys and wherefores of their actions. He is not interested in discussing the whys and wherefores of his time abroad. Note: `Wherefore' is an old-fashioned word meaning `for what' or `why'.
See also: and, wherefore, why

the whys and wherefores

the reasons for or details of something.
1991 Gramophone At this time I was desperate to know all the whys and wherefores of a really advanced technique.
See also: and, wherefore, why

the ˌwhys and (the) ˈwherefores (of something)

the reasons (for something): I don’t really want to know all the whys and the wherefores. Just tell me what happened.
See also: and, wherefore, why
References in periodicals archive ?
Once our author has oriented his readers in the whys and wherefores of the early stages of the war, he involved them in the life he and his comrades led in the bleak and inhospitable country they had come to save from the Communist invaders.
Sharon Lawrence (``NYPD Blue'') and Wendie Malick (``Just Shoot Me'') joined the panel of biologists who explained the whys and wherefores of the death of the oceans and all their sea life due to pollution and harmful fishing practices.
Robert Enrlich's '8 Preposterous Propositions', takes scientific urban myth and examines the hows, whys and wherefores of some of the most important and ridiculous scientific statements ever made.
20 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Math, Myth & Magic of Name Search & Matching," a book that explains in plain English the whys and wherefores of identity data search technology, is available free at http://www.
Putting aside the whys and wherefores, this can't help but be a great album.
Whatever the whys and wherefores behind the decision to ban overtime payments to council workers because they had not worked their full hours due to last Wednesday's strike, the council leadership has clearly made a monumental error.
The whys and wherefores as to our attachment to bullion are many and complex.
This, then, may be the ultimate postmodern irony: In relentlessly questioning the whys and wherefores of the Enlightenment, its aims, methods, and motives, postmodernism may be stumbling closer to the real thing - whatever that might be.
Like the discussions of male violence, the ones on historic truth obscure and mystify the actual whys and wherefores of media production by taking a single, largely false, issue - factual accuracy - out of its social and cultural context and making it bear the weight of a problem that is far more complex.
He explains the whys and wherefores of individual "membership" and shows how Club members relate to stars and journalists.
They had great difficulty developing an intuitive understanding of the whys and wherefores of quantum mechanics.
It is the first book to my knowledge that teaches not only the whys and wherefores of the telephone plant but also the methods of passive and active attacks on plant facilities.
Hydrogiene(TM) has prepared an updated and current four-page Executive Summary description of the company, its avowed objectives, the whys and wherefores of these objectives in response to those who have claimed that the company has drifted off its course.
Whatever the whys and wherefores, including the fine service it provided up until its closure in November, the appalling bottom line is the council faces throwing away hundreds of thousands of pounds - as 1.