Excerpt from a conversation:

A: I have two oak trees in my backyard.
B: Why why I have two oak trees in my backyard too!

What is the meaning of the double "why"? It doesn't look like it's being used to ask a question, because the sentence seems to be an exclamation.

  • 1
    I think that you may have some missing question-marks in your sentence B. It may be: "Why? Why I have two oak trees in my backyard too?!" I have not found any online references to those sentences to include the source. Could you include it, please?
    – RubioRic
    May 7, 2020 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


"Why" is sometimes used as an interjection or exclamation to express mild surprise, hesitation, approval, disapproval, or impatience. For example:

  • Why, that useless man! (disapproval)
  • Why, I was just thinking about you when you called! (surprise)

"Why" isn't the only interrogative word to be used this way, for example "what luck!"

In the context of your example, it would seem to be expressing surprise. However, why it is used twice in your example I have no idea. It seems wrong. Perhaps you have misquoted it, or there is some missing punctuation? If a person was especially surprised, I suppose they might stammer and say it twice?

Why... why I have two oak trees in my backyard too!

Although I can't see what is so surprising about having the same trees.

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