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what for

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1

For what purpose or reason, why, as in I know you're going to England, but what for? [Mid-1700s]

2

A punishment or scolding, as in You'll get what for from Mom if she catches you smoking, or The teacher really gave Bud what for. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]

QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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