I recently came across this phrase:
Können wir nicht mal was anderes machen?
The meaning is clear enough, i.e. “Can we not do something else?”, but I can’t work out how the word was is functioning in this context. I’m guessing it means what in the sense of “is there not something else what/that we could be doing?”, but why is the was necessary? How would the meaning change if you wrote
Können wir nicht mal anderes machen?