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  • "Whuffo you got that 1 / 0 welding wire to the back of the Jeep?" News 2009

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  • "Whuffo you put that Antennex on Stinky Jim's Jeep instead of a Wilson?" News 2009


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  • WORD: Whuffo?

    DEFINITION: (Interrogative, colloq.) African-American English for "Why", or more emphatically, "What for?"

    NOTE: The expression "the right word" is the English equivalent of the French "mot juste" -- "n. The perfectly appropriate word or phrase for the situation." -- Wiktionary.


    ' "I guess that isn't the right word," she said. She was used to apologizing for her use of language. She had been encouraged to do a lot of that in school. Most white people in Midland City were insecure when they spoke, so they kept their sentences short and their words simple, in order to keep embarrassing mistakes to a minimum. Dwayne certainly did that. Patty certainly did that.

    ' This was because their English teachers would wince and cover their ears and give them flunking grades and so on whenever they failed to speak like English aristocrats before the First World War. Also: they were told that they were unworthy to speak or write their language if they couldn't love or understand incomprehensible novels and plays about people long ago and far away, such as "Ivanhoe".

    ' The black people would not put up with this. They went on talking English every which way. They refused to read books they couldn't understand -- on the grounds they couldn't understand them. They would ask such impudent questions as, "Whuffo I want to read no "Tale of Two Cities"? Whuffo?

    -- From Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 novel Breakfast of Champions -- Chapter 15 (page 138).

    1973 KURT VONNEGUT, JR. Breakfast of Champions, or, Goodbye Blue Monday

    August 28, 2013