One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In representations or imitation of Russian speech: ‘it is nothing’, ‘never mind’, ‘no matter’.
The attitude of resignation or fatalism conveyed by (habitual) use of the word ‘nitchevo’; the tendency to accept defeat or to do nothing.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From Russian ničego, genitive of ničto nothing; with the construction compare French de rien, Spanish de nada.
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