From Proto-Germanic *hwat, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷos, *kʷod. Cognates include Old Frisian hwet (West Frisian wat), Old Saxon hwat (Low German wat), Dutch wat, Old High German hwaz (German was), Old Norse hvat (Danish hvad, Swedish vad), Gothic 𐍈𐌰. The Indo-European root also led to the Latin quod, Lithuanian kàd, and Irish cad.
- English: what
- Hwæt! Wē Gār-Dena in ġēar-dagum / þēod-cyninga þrymm ġefrūġnon / hū þā æþelingas ellen fremedon. (Beowulf lines 1-3, edited and translated by Mountebank1)
- The status of hwæt in Old English, George Walkden