"not in any situation or state; in no place," Old English nahwær "nowhere, not at all;" see no + where. Colloquial nowheres, with adverbial genitive, is by 1884. As a noun, "non-existent place," 1831; "remote or inaccessible place," 1908. Hence road to nowhere (1951); middle of nowhere (1960). Similar constructions were attempted with nowhat ("not at all," 1650s) and nowhen ("at no time, never," 1764), but they failed to take hold and remain nonce words. Middle English also had an adverb never-where (early 14c.).