One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounIrish English, Scottish, Northern
1"devil (also fiend) a (also the) haet": not a whit, nothing at all.
2"damn the haet" (formerly also "†damned haet"): nothing at all.
3Chiefly in negative contexts: a whit, a jot; the least thing; a small quantity.
Early 18th century. From hae't, misapprehended as a noun, probably after phrases like the devil a bit, the devil a whit.
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