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[hwuht-not, hwot-, wuht-, wot-] /ˈʰwʌtˌnɒt, ˈʰwɒt-, ˈwʌt-, ˈwɒt-/
a stand with shelves for bric-a-brac, books, etc.
something or anything of the same or similar kind:
sheets, pillowcases, towels, napkins, and whatnot.
Origin of whatnot
First recorded in 1530-40; from the phrase what not? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whatnot
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Andy Grant has told you a great deal about General Jackson's pledges, and his changes and whatnot.

    Quodlibet John P. Kennedy
  • With his own savings, and largely by his own labor, he now built his boat, the whatnot.

    Raftmates Kirk Munroe
  • The whatnot with her books on it, the things on the table, the bed—all bore fresh traces of a search.

  • Homais, to keep himself in countenance, took up a water-bottle on the whatnot to water the geraniums.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • In one angle of the room austerely huddled a three-cornered "whatnot" of four shelves.

    The Claim Jumpers Stewart Edward White
British Dictionary definitions for whatnot


(informal) Also called what-d'you-call-it. a person or thing the name of which is unknown, temporarily forgotten, or deliberately overlooked
(informal) unspecified assorted material
a portable stand with shelves, used for displaying ornaments, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for whatnot

1530s, "anything," from what + not. As the name of a furniture item, first attested 1808, so named for the objects it is meant to hold.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for whatnot



An unnamed or unspecified thing (1964+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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