(not “nought”). Naught is Ne (negative), aught (anything). Saxon náht, which is ne áht (not anything).
A headless man had a letter [o] to write. He who read it [naught] had lost his sight. The dumb repeated it [naught] word for word, And deaf was the man who listened and heard [naught.]
“The water is naught.” - 2 Kings, ii. 19.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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