whys and wherefores


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

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 ?
He loved his running and many were the discussions that we had on the whys and wherefores of the sport, though I believe that his main love was always in rugby and the Constantine College team in particular.
A toppler of 111,111 dominoes, a memorizer of pi up to 67,890 digits, a spinner of 28 basketballs simultaneously and the world's loudest finger snapper are among the subjects of "Breaking and Entering," director Benjamin Fingerhut's attempt to ascertain the whys and wherefores of those who seek to break Guinness records.
You had concepts for each art lesson, as well as vocabulary and skills you incorporated, and these should be succinctly stated, printed out and mounted on the bulletin board along with the student work so visitors understand the whys and wherefores of the lesson.
The county is bringing in an outside engineering consultant to help sort out the whys and wherefores of Paris' Cobblestone Drive drainage debacle.
When Serrano found his grandfather's death certificate from 1948, he discovered evidence of murder, which led him to investigate the whys and wherefores of how his grandfather died--and who had motive, means, and opportunity to kill him.
Brown, unsurprisingly to me now, seems unable to grasp the reality of his recession and the whys and wherefores of how it came about.
I won't go into the whys and wherefores, but it was a whole new world to me.
"Now is not the time to discuss the whys and wherefores, it is just the time to roll the sleeves up and make sure we get enough points so next year we're a Premier League football club."
Modern Agent's Editor in Chief James Shillinglaw, CTC, sorts out the whys and wherefores of the situation.
And if pictures can tell a story, they can also show readers the whys and wherefores of an editorial.
imd.ch/wcc to learn the whys and wherefores of the strong showing of the U.S.
Port Talbot- born Michael's latest role is the lead in The UN Inspector, in which the writer-director David Farr has taken the skeleton of Gogol's durable comedy about small-town corruption, The Government Inspector, and re-situated it in a young post-Soviet state still hazy about the whys and wherefores of democracy.
Those are questions that are being heard more and more often these days, given that the accounts are new and the whys and wherefores aren't always well-known.
Far be it from me to comment on the whys and wherefores of who gets invited and who gets excluded, I just think it is very sad for the children that the family will be so fragmented during what is supposed to be a family time.
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.