Where it’s found: Henry VI, Part 3, Act I, Scene I
How it’s used:
CLIFFORD: Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.
WARWICK: Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!
Where it comes from: Despite some scholar’s opinions on Henry VI (not the most interesting of Shakespeare’s plays), it’s certainly not a worthless play, because it gave us… well, the word worthless.
I’ve actually covered the origins of both parts of this word before. Worthless is made up of two parts (bonus points if you can guess what they are), so this will mostly just be review. But here we are anyway:
Worth comes from the other granddaddy of English, Anglo-Saxon. They had a word, weorð, which meant “equal in value to.” It’s (probably) descended from an Indo-European form that is also the root of the word versus. [source]
[Less] means lacking, and it comes from Old English -leas. Other Germanic languages have similar terms (-loos in Dutch, -los in German, etc.) [source]
Review day is review day. And also Tuesday.