"something, anything," late 12c., from Old English awiht "aught, anything, something," literally "e'er a whit," from a- "ever" (from Proto-Germanic *aiwi- "ever," extended form of PIE root *aiw- "vital force, life; long life, eternity") + *wihti "thing, anything whatever" (see wight). In Shakespeare, Milton, and Pope, aught and ought occur indiscriminately. Chaucer used aughtwhere (adv.) "anywhere."
mid-14c., "evil, an evil act," also " a trifle," c. 1400, "nothingness;" early 15c., in arithmetic, "the number zero;" from noht, naht (pron.) "nothing" (late 12c.), from Old English nawiht "nothing," literally "no whit," from na "no" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + wiht "thing, creature, being" (see wight). Also see nought.
Cognate with Old Saxon neowiht "nothing," Old High German niwiht, Gothic ni waihts, Dutch niet, German nicht. It also developed an adjectival sense in Old English, "good for nothing," which by mid-16c. had focused to "morally bad, wicked," though the modern adjective is naughty.
"'white' person, person of European descent," 1828, also whity, from white (adj.) + -y (2) and -y (3). Earlier as an adjective, and Whitey-brown was a 19c. descriptive color name, used to describe, among other things, mulatto skin.
Negro troops doing provost duty in Norfolk; keeping the white people in order. On a visit to Norfolk one can see white Southerners, arrested for sundry misdemeanors, working on the public streets, under negro guards. ... It is quite a change to see, in Norfolk, negroes forcing white men to work, at the point of the bayonet; calling out to them: "No loaf'n dar!" "Move quicker, Sah!" "Hurry up dar, Old Whitey!" and similar orders. Tables turned! [diary of Lieut. S. Millett Thompson, 13th New Hampshire Volunteer regiment, U.S. Army, Jan. 25, 1864; diary published 1888 by Houghton, Mifflin & Co.]