ADVERBS To-fore; too; what, when; whilst; why; yetWhy (instrumental case of E.E. hwa, "who"), used after "for," instead of "wherefore." Like the Latin "quid enim?" it came after a time to mean "for indeed," as
i.e. "wherefore? (because) the senseless," &c. The provincialism "whyfore" still exists. "For" does not correspond to "enim," but is a preposition by derivation. Later writers, however, and possibly Shakespeare, may have used "for" in "for why" as a conjunction. Some, however, maintain that the comma should be removed after "for why," and that "for why" (like ἀνθ̓ ὧν) means "for this that," "because," the relative containing an implied antecedent. A distinction seems drawn between "why" and "for what" in
“And send the hearers weeping to their beds;
For why, the senseless brands will sympathise.
Why, perhaps, refers to the past cause, for what to the future object.
“Why, or for what these nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.
i.e. "every deed said to be done owing to a certain cause is really done for a certain object." Compare
“Ant. S. Shall I tell you why?
Drom. S. Ay, sir, and wherefore; for they say every why hath a
"Why" and "how" are both derivatives of the relative, and are sometimes interchanged in A.-S. "Why" seems to have been the ablative of instrument, and "how" the adverbial derivative of manner, from "who."
“Say, why is this? Wherefore? What shall we do?