Could someone please explain how and why people say 'why' for example if someone asks or says something and other person answer: "Why yes." ??

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    OED have this in their definition IV 7a for why - Used interjectionally, before a sentence or clause. As an expression of surprise (sometimes only momentary or slight; sometimes involving protest), either in reply to a remark or question, or on perceiving something unexpected. First recorded 1520, so I don't think we'll be able to relate this to more common current usages for the word. As an interjection expressing surprise,it's actually something of a dated affectation today, and probably best avoided. Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


'Why, yes' seems to be an idiomatic expression, used to add emphasis to a response. The exclamation 'why' can also be used at the beginning of other sentences to express surprise, lack of patience, anger, etc.

This might help: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1449759 http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/why_2

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