Etymology
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iota (n.)
"very small amount," 1630s, figurative use of iota, ninth and smallest letter in the Greek alphabet (corresponding to Latin -i-). Its use in this sense is after Matthew v.18 (see jot (n.), which is the earlier form of the name in English), but iota in classical Greek also was proverbially used of anything very small. The letter name is from Semitic (compare Phoenician and Hebrew yodh).
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yod (n.)
10th and smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet (compare jot, iota).
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jot (n.)
"the least part of anything," 1520s, from Latin iota, from Greek iota "the letter -i-," the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, also "the least part of anything" (see iota). Usually (and originally) with tittle, from Matthew v.18.
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jod (n.)
"the letter -j-," Medieval Latin spelling of Hebrew letter yodh (see iota); a variant of jot (n.). Hence "the slightest bit" (1590s).
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hoot (n.)

mid-15c., "cry of dissatisfaction or contempt," from hoot (v.). Meaning "a laugh, something funny" is first recorded 1942. Slang sense of "smallest amount or particle" (the hoot you don't give when you don't care) is from 1891.

"A dod blasted ole fool!" answered the captain, who, till now, had been merely an amused on-looker. "Ye know all this rumpus wont do nobuddy a hoot o' good—not a hoot." ["Along Traverse Shores," Traverse City, Michigan, 1891]

Hooter in the same sense is from 1839.

HOOTER. Probably a corruption of iota. Common in New York in such phrases as "I don't care a hooter for him." "This note ain't worth a hooter." [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1877]
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