the whys and wherefores

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 classic literature ?
Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
I can no more tell you the whys and wherefores of myself than I can lift myself up by the waistband and carry myself into the next county, as some one challenged a speculator in perpetual motion to do.
Whilst many members were familiar with such techniques, even they and the novices amongst his audience were admirably enlightened as to the whys and wherefores when using today's technology, with Malcolm projecting 'before and after'examples of his work.
Finally, for a bit of fun, while were all arguing about the whys and wherefores of 'Geordie', here are 10 words commonly used in our region at one time or another.
I won't go into the whys and wherefores of the series of meetings that were held, that would be inappropriate, but what I will say is how proud I was to show off my home city to people, many of whom had never been in Liverpool before.
Having to explain the whys and wherefores of terrible things to an inquisitive, knowledge-hungry and probably scared and worried little person is not something that's ever got me thinking before.
Whatever the whys and wherefores, the Rhinos are in serious trouble and for the first time in three years, bookmakers rate them underdogs for a home game.
The general principle would be that signatures were collected from the public on issues that concern them, which could then be used to press state institutions on the whys and wherefores.
What I Can Do for Our Members: I want to be your eyes and ears in Washington on all things legislative and regulatory; to help you better understand the whys and wherefores of Congress and the Administration; to let Congress and the Administration know how you are transforming the nation's human service system; and to provide you with the tools to be successful human service advocates.
Apparently the study will look at the whys and wherefores of tunneling under the Woodhead Pass between Sheffield and Manchester - just over the top of Holme Moss.
The whys and wherefores of the politiciansAE desire to censor the press are borne from the fact that, in the age before the technological revolution, power over the press meant the ability to control virtually the only means by which information could be disseminated en masse.
As they say in this game, the table doesn't lie but it's only December and we shall judge the whys and wherefores come May.
TALKING HEADS is one of those shows that can set you thinking about the whys and wherefores of art and lets you wonder who gets to be hung on walls of a gallery.
For reasons known only to middle-aged male scriptwriters, she gives Jesse spontaneous hugs and sends him classical music mix-tapes along with handwritten letters discussing the whys and wherefores of James Joyce.
For reasons known only to middleaged male scriptwriters, she gives Jesse spontaneous hugs and sends him classical music mix-tapes along with handwritten letters discussing the whys and wherefores of James Joyce.