[hwuht-not, hwot-, wuht-, wot-]


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?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whatnot

Contemporary Examples of whatnot

Historical Examples of whatnot

  • The whatnot was shaky, having only three short, spindle legs.

  • It could not have been the owner of the Whatnot, because, with his wooden leg, he could not swim.


    Kirk Munroe

  • With his own savings, and largely by his own labor, he now built his boat, the Whatnot.


    Kirk Munroe

  • My Mind wanders in sex-chaos and muses on piquant impure things, enchanting villainies, odd inversions, whatnot.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

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

    Madame Bovary

    Gustave Flaubert

British Dictionary definitions for whatnot



Also called: what-d'you-call-it informal 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

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