Journalists are taught to ask who, what, where, when, why, and how. If you answer all of these chances are you have the bones of a story. Why do all these words, with the exception of "how" start with "wh"? Is it coincidence or did they all originate from the same word? Perhaps it was a grunt type word like "huh?"
These are all interrogative words so there is nothing weird that they all share the same prefix "wh".
And actually there are more than 600 English words that start with "wh", even there is a history for "wh", there won't exist a strong connection between that history and the set of interrogative words.
Adding on to what Nicholas, Kosmonaut, and Jamie have said, here are some examples. Hindi is a language that is mainly derived from Sanskrit. English and German are Germanic languages.
Perhaps someone can add a column for other languages from the same family tree.
As an appropriate greeting to another new user, Whæt ho! The wh-/qwa- consonant is Germanic in origin; it's a standard sound in OE and ME. Full OED details below. Someone else can do a proper commentary I'm sure.
protected by Mari-Lou A Feb 10 at 19:35
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