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From Middle English nithing (wretch, coward; good-for-nothing; a stingy or miserly person), from Old English nīþing (wretch, villain, coward, outlaw). Cognate with Icelandic níðingur.



nithing (plural nithings)

  1. A coward, dastard, wretch.
    • 1903, Ottilie A. Liljencrantz, The Ward of King Canute[1], ebook edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2009:
      To get gold to buy peace, they will sell their children into slavery. Sooner than look our swords in the face, they will yield us their daughters to be our thralls! Oath-breakers, nithings! Will you be beaten by such? Vikings, Odinmen, forward!
    • 1905, George Burton Adams, The History of England From the Norman Conquest to the Death of John (1066-1216)[2], ebook edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2005:
      For this siege the king again appealed to the country and called for the help of all under the old Saxon penalty of the disgraceful name of "nithing."
    • 2010 May 23, Ilya Somin, quoting comment by Michael Ejercito, “Libertarianism, Federalism, and Racism”, in The Volokh Conspiracy[3], retrieved 2012-08-01:
      Do victims of the Holocaust and anti-Judaism care about how logical and unmalicious Jacoby's motives are? / Do you think Jeff Jacoby is a Nazi nithing or a Holocaust denier?