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Q: Is "yaught" an alternate spelling for "yacht," or is it just stupid? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Is "yaught" an alternate spelling for "yacht," or is it just stupid?
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: dominiquegaea-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 12 Apr 2005 21:48 PDT
Expires: 12 May 2005 21:48 PDT
Question ID: 508639
Is "yaught" some strange alternate spelling of the word "yacht," or
are people that write "yaught" just incorrect?
Subject: Re: Is "yaught" an alternate spelling for "yacht," or is it just stupid?
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 12 Apr 2005 22:31 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello dominiquegaea-ga,

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) calls "yaugh" and "yaught"
obsolete forms of "yacht."  That dictionary's entry for "yacht"
includes these quotations:

"1616 R. COCKS Diary (Hakl. Soc.) I. 118, I esteemed he came to
spie..whether our shipp and the Duch yaught staid for to take the
Amacon shipp. ... 1630 R. Johnson's Kingd. & Commw. 40 The Emperour
(who yet had never greater vessell than a Punt or Yaugh upon the
Danuby). 1645 in Sussex ArchŠol. Coll. XLVIII. 129 Paid for tow and
nails used aboute my Lords Yought at Pemsie. Ibid., To unrig my Lord's

These entries are in the online version of the OED (available by
subscription and through some library consortia), as well as the
Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary [1st Ed.], Vol. II
(Oxford University Press 1971) pp. 3849, 3851.

The entry for "yacht" shows that historically, the word has had
numerous spellings.  In current dictionaries, "yacht" has won out,
certainly over "yaught."  {Try searching Google for: dictionary yacht
yaught.  If "yaught" were truly an accepted current variant, you would
get many of the same results that you see for: dictionary yacht.)

Still, some people write "yaught."  I suppose one could say it's
"stupid" if the writer has learned standard English.  But perhaps the
writer is just having some fun.  Or perhaps the person is not a native
writer of standard English, and writes "yaught" on the model of words
like "aught," "caught," and "draught" (which look the same, although
they don't rhyme).

- justaskscott

Searched Oxford English Dictionary for:

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