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I’m currently reading George Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire novels in English. As a non-native speaker (I’m German), I stumbled upon some grammatical constructs that I’ve never seen before, one of them being the Why at beginning of sentences.
- Tyrion gave the rotting head a second look. Why, it almost looks as if those lips are smiling.
- Did he use that word? Why, the boy has a singer's soul . . . though if you believe that song, you may well be dimmer than the first Reek.
These kind of sentences are obviously different from sentences like Why is the sky blue?
I’d like to know if that construct is archaic, or could be used in everyday language, and how one could rephrase that kind of sentences. Can it be rephrased at all? To me it seems like the Why is just used to give the sentence a kind of “cynical” taste.