what for

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Adverb[edit]

what for

  1. (colloquial) For what reason; why.
    He wants four copies of it? What for?
    Ow! What did you do that for?

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

what for

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial, usually with "give someone") An unspecified punishment or rebuke
    When your dad gets home, he'll give you what for.
    • 1968, Oliver!, 01:12:40
      - Fagin, I'm waiting.
      - Waiting, my dear? What for?
      - Bill will give you "what for" if you don't fork out.

Translations[edit]