I remember coming across usage of "what" in place of "that/which". Is it very old usage or some dialect, or maybe it's plain wrong? One phrase I remember a hundred percent is:

  • The secrets what lie within.
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    I think of it as characteristic of Cockney or other working-class English dialects. If you do a google search for the exact phrase "the man what done it," you'll find some discussion of this. – Canadian Yankee Jan 5 '18 at 17:53
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    @SovereignSun Yes, and it would be heard by certain people as "uneducated" or incorrect. – Canadian Yankee Jan 5 '18 at 17:56
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    Yes, it's a feature of some dialects. For example, there's a play called The Play What I Wrote by two British comedians (although I think they were making fun of dialect speakers). – stangdon Jan 5 '18 at 17:56
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    Sometimes, to emphasize that it's dialect, you'll even see it spelled as "wot," in attempt to mimic the pronunciation. Here is an example from a novel where a (presumably not-well-educated) police sergeant is quoted as saying, " 'Ave you got the man wot done it, Mr. Pitt?" – Canadian Yankee Jan 5 '18 at 18:03
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    It's definitely characteristic of certain BrE dialects including Cockney. Canadian Yankee is right. It is dialectal. Not bad English, just English as spoken by some people. All language is fine; even fucked up, screwed up language. Linguists describe language, they don't take a moral position. – Lambie Jan 5 '18 at 18:06

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