Don't be naughty! Play this KS3 spelling quiz on words beginning at na and get in the good books of your family and teachers.
"Actors are the best and worst of people. They're like kids. When they're good, they're very very good. When they're bad they're very very naughty." - Kenneth Branagh.
The word "naughty" does not seem like a serious one. It is often used for children, and in fact, in the quote above, Branagh's joke depends on his audience understanding that the word is applied to children. The fact that he is able to intensify it by using the word "very" twice implies that being naughty is not especially serious. It might, therefore, be a surprise to know that the word used to mean "evil" or "wicked" and be taken very seriously indeed.
If you consider the source of the word, you would discover why it held such a strong meaning. The word "naughty" was created as an adjective by adding the suffix -y to the word "naught", which, of course, means "nothing". What could be worse than being nothing at all? But language, as you should know, changes over time and this sense has been lost altogether.
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