the whys and wherefores

(redirected from the why's and wherefore's)

the whys and wherefores

The various underlying factors that cause or contribute to something. I don't need the whys and wherefores of the delay, I just want to know when the project will be done. The tour guide was very interesting, really digging into the whys and wherefores of the city's troubled past.
See also: and, wherefore, why

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

whys and wherefores, the

The underlying reasons. Although this alliterative term seems tautological, originally why alluded to the reason for something, and wherefore to how it came to be. However, wherefore also was, in the sixteenth century, used in the meaning of “because.” Thus George Gascoigne (Supposes, 1566) wrote, “I have given you a wherefore for this why many times,” and Samuel Butler (Hudibras, 1663), “Whatever Sceptic could inquire for, For ev’ry why he had a wherefore.” Today, however, the term is simply a cliché for all the reasons for something.
See also: and, why
References in periodicals archive ?
Obviously this decision isn't down to me, I don't know the why's and wherefore's and it's not for us to think about.
You can argue about the why's and wherefore's about this issue until the cows come home but Alfie has certainly galvanised his squad ahead of the visit of a resurgent Scotland.