As one wrote to an external trader, “Duuuude… whats up with ur guys 34.5 3m fix…tell him to get it up!!”
Say, look yonder, you fellows, whats happening to your provision basket!
whats the good of being engaged to a man if he cant play tennis with you?
whats the matter with taking a run over to Broadlands and finding out more about it?
But if I've got my flesh and blood, and none can spit on her, why should I be asking 'whats' and 'whys'?
whats the matter, didnt you hit it right among the squashes?
O what is worse than womens wish, whats deeper than the seas?
I got by all right to-day, I suppose, but whats going to happen to-morrow?
Say, whats gotten into the old Ogress—shes so pleasant to us?
Then, as no one else spoke, I sez: All we want is just the woman and whats left o your outfit, Ty.
Old English hwæt, from Proto-Germanic *khwat (cf. Old Saxon hwat, Old Norse hvat, Danish hvad, Old Frisian hwet, Dutch wat, Old High German hwaz, German was, Gothic hva "what"), from PIE *qwod, neuter singular of *qwos "who" (see who).
Meaning "what did you say?" is recorded from c.1300; as an interrogative expletive at the end of sentences it is first recorded 1785, common early 20c. in affected British speech. Or what as an alternative end to a question is first attested 1766. "To give one what for is to respond to his remonstrant what for? by further assault" [Weekley]. The phrase is attested from 1873. What's-his-name for "unspecified person" is attested from 1690s; variant whatsisface is first recorded 1967. What's up? "what is happening?" first recorded 1881.