What's the exact term used to describe the "why" in some people's spoken English (somewhat rural or archaic by now, I suppose) as in "When I saw how much it cost, why, I knew I couldn't afford it".....or "When our family car broke down, why, we'd just walk, until we could fix it", etc....anybody recognize these? If so, why the "why"?


1 Answer 1


"Why" is an old fashioned interjection, which is used when you are surprised or have suddenly realized something:
For example:
Why, look who's here!
And I thought to myself, why, I can do that.

Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary. http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/why_2

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