Skt. naktam "at night," Lith. naktis "night," O.C.S. nosti, Rus. noch', Welsh henoid "tonight"). For spelling with -gh- see fight.
"The fact that the Aryans have a common name for night, but not for day (q.v.), is due to the fact that they reckoned by nights." [Weekley]
Cf. Ger. Weihnachten "Christmas." In early times, the day was held to begin at sunset, so O.E. monanniht "Monday night" was the night before Monday, or what we would call Sunday night. Nightclub "club open at night" is from 1894; nightspot in the same sense is from 1936. Nightstick (1887) so called because it was carried for night patrols. To work nights preserves the O.E. genitive of time. Night shift is attested from 1710 in the sense of "garment worn by a woman at night" (see shift
); meaning "gang of workers employed after dark" is from 1839. Night soil "excrement" (1770) is so called because it was removed (from cesspools, etc.) after dark.