what/who should someone see but

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of what/who should someone see but

used to say that someone is surprised to see something or someone
  • I looked up and what should I see but a hummingbird right over my head.
  • They were walking along when who should they see but Kim!

Word by Word Definitions

what play
  1. used as an interrogative expressing inquiry about the identity, nature, or value of an object or matter

  2. often used to ask for repetition of an utterance or part of an utterance not properly heard or understood

  3. : who

  1. : why

  2. : in what respect : how

  1. used as an interrogative expressing inquiry about the identity, nature, or value of a person, object, or matter

  2. : how remarkable or striking for good or bad qualities

  3. : whatever

should play
  1. : past tense of shall

  2. used in auxiliary function to express condition

  3. used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

see play
  1. : to perceive by the eye

  2. : to perceive or detect as if by sight

  3. : to have experience of : undergo

  1. : cathedra

  2. : a cathedral town

  3. : a seat of a bishop's office, power, or authority


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