zero etymology

zero (n.)

“figure which stands for naught in the Arabic notation,” also “the absence of all quantity considered as quantity,” c. 1600, from French zéro or directly from Italian zero, from Medieval Latin zephirum, from Arabic sifr “cipher,” translation of Sanskrit sunya-m “empty place, desert, naught” (see cipher (n.)). 

A smart and readable history of the Zero. And some of the prejudices of Europeans having to acknowledge that Hindus, Arabs and Africans were the first to get here: