In today’s expression episode of Aussie English I teach you how to use the expression To [Not] Give A Damn/Crap/Shit/Fuck.
Ep062: Expression – To [Not] Give A Damn/Crap/Shit/Fuck
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today is going to be an expression, an expression that I mentioned in the previous Walking With Pete episode. So, I’m trying to sort of cover expressions that I use myself without thinking that I use naturally in Walking With Pete episodes and then later on I can break them down and talk about them in Expression episodes so that you can have sort of double exposure to them. You hear them in the Walking With Pete episodes and then later I can break them down, and you also know that if you hear them in the Walking With Pete episodes where I have no real outline for the transcript, I just sort of speak, I chat to you guys, that when you hear these expressions they’re literally just coming off the top of my head. I’m thinking of them then and there, and then just using them naturally. So, you know that they’re expressions that Australian English speakers use, and for the most part a lot of these expressions will be just English [expressions] in general. So, Americans will use them. English people will use them. It’s pretty much the kind of thing that will… a lot of the time just be ubiquitous, it’ll be everywhere in the English language. So, don’t worry too much about um… just yeah… don’t fear that they’re only Australian expressions. A lot of the ones I’m going to teach you are going to be useful everywhere. I don’t want to teach you the very very specialised and unique to Australia ones a lot of the time.
So, anyway, today’s expression is “To give a damn” or “To not give a damn”, and the more rude ways of saying “To not give a damn” or “To give a damn” using the words “Crap”, “Shit” and “Fuck”. So, you can say “I don’t give a damn”, “I don’t give a crap”, “I don’t give a shit”, “I don’t give a fuck”, and those are going from relatively polite to progressively rude. So, I’ve ordered them in how rude they are. “Damn” is sort of… you can say that to anyone. “Crap” it’s slightly rude. “Shit” is definitely rude, and then “Fuck” is the kind of thing that you would only really say if you were incredibly angry or around very very very close friends who don’t care if you swear.
So, what does this expression mean, “To not give a damn” or “to give a damn”? It effectively just means to care. So, to care about something or to not care about something. If you say, “To not give a damn”, it means that you don’t care about whatever it is that you’re talking about. So, to care about something, to be concerned about something, or to consider something as important to you.
So, I’ll go through some examples of how you could use this expression, or how you may hear this expression in English. Say for… the first example um… Personally, my dad’s really into Australia footy, AFL, Australian rules footy, and I don’t really care so much about it. So, say my dad has… he’s really excited that his team Essendon, which is a team from Melbourne, has won the Grand Final last night, and you know, he’s… he’s really excited and he’s talking to me about it, and you know, I just don’t care. So, I could say, “Who gives a damn?”. “Dad, who gives a damn? I don’t like footy. Who gives a damn?”. So, it’s like saying, “Who cares?”. “Who cares? No one cares dad. You care. I don’t care”.
Um… another example could be a kid, you know, a family has a child who’s going to school except he’s started wagging school. So, “Wagging”, this is like the same spelling as the very “To wag” as in “To wag your tail” if you’re a dog. If you’re wagging your tail it’s moving from side to side. But if you “Wag school” it means to skip school, to not go to school. So, if a kid wags school it means that he’s pretending to go to school when he leaves his house in the morning, but he doesn’t actually go to school. He goes to say the mall or to the shops or to the skate park to hang out with his friends. So, say a family has a kid who’s wagging school, and they could confront the child and be like, “Look, you can’t keep wagging school. You need to go to school. You need to be worried about your marks. You need to start giving a damn about your marks.” The kid could say in return, that “I don’t give a crap”. “I don’t give a crap about my marks. I don’t give a crap about school. I don’t give a crap about my education”. So it’s just another way of saying “I don’t care”. “I don’t care about school. I don’t give a crap”. And this is… yeah, using the word “crap” it’s not really really rude but it is slightly elevated above “To not give a damn”. So it’s the kind of swear word that you could use with your parents, maybe, um… depending on who your parents are without really really being too offensive and yeah… it’s the kind of thing you guys are just going to have to play with but as a safe bet using “Damn” is fine pretty much in any context. “Crap” is sort of ok, and then as you progressively go through to “Shit” and “Fuck” those are a lot worse and I wouldn’t use them unless you’re around um… very close friends or unless you’re having a… a um… discussion with someone where you’re incredibly incredibly angry, and you don’t care about swearing.
So, the next example could be, someone’s won some money at the casino, you know, say, a friend of yours and they’re rubbing it in your face. So, “Rubbing it in your face” is kind of like boasting about it, talking about how good they are. They’re sort of… it’s as if they’re… they’ve got the thing and they’re putting it all over your face. You know, rubbing it in your face and saying, “Hahaha I’m so good. I’m so good”, you know, “Look at me!”. So, say someone’s won some money at the casino and they’re being incredibly arrogant and saying they’re really smart and that they’re better than everyone and that they’re, you know, they know everything at the casino and that they can win easily. You could say in return, “Dude, no one gives a shit. No one gives a shit”. So, again you’re saying “Shit”, it’s a little bit ruder but if it’s with friends it’s not too bad. And it just means no one cares. “Dude, no one cares. No one gives a shit. No one gives a shit”.
The last example I’ll go through could be say, a really heated argument between a boyfriend and a girlfriend. So, when I say a heated argument that means an argument that’s getting pretty um… angry, that is heated with regards to emotions. So, people are fighting. They’re really angry between one another, a boyfriend and a girlfriend, and say, the girlfriend has been neglected by the boyfriend. So, the boyfriend’s always out with his friends. He’s never home. He never wants to spend time with his girlfriend. He’s really distant. He’s not making an effort. So, he’s not trying to um… do things with his girlfriend. The girlfriend could say to him, “Look, the way you’ve been acting it’s like you don’t give a fuck.” So, “It’s like you don’t give a fuck. It’s like you don’t care. The way you’ve been acting, the way you’ve been treating me as your girlfriend, it’s like you don’t give a fuck. The way you’ve been acting it’s like you don’t care.”
So, that’s the four different expressions based on “To give a” and then “Something”. So, “To give a damn”, “To give a crap”, “To give a shit”, “To give a fuck”, or “To not give a damn”, “To not give a crap”, “To not give a shit”, “To not give a fuck”. So, play with those guys, and if… if you’re… you’re only just listening to this podcast this is the point where I run you through some practice pronunciation exercises. So, you just sort of listen and repeat after me. And I’ll go through the phrases “who gives a…” and then the four different elevations “Damn”, “Crap”, “Shit”, “Fuck”, “I don’t give a…” and then “Damn”, “Crap”, “Shit”, Fuck”, and then “No one gives a…” and then “Damn”, “Crap”, “Shit”, “Fuck”. So, repeat after me.
Who gives a damn?
Who gives a crap?
Who gives a shit?
Who gives a fuck?
I don’t give a damn.
I don’t give a crap.
I don’t give a shit.
I don’t give a fuck.
No one gives a damn.
No one gives a crap.
No one gives a shit.
No one gives a fuck.
And one thing I might add here guys at the end, one thing I love doing personally when I’m trying to learn languages is kind of like to role play, you know, to act a little bit as if I’m in an actual situation where I would say these things. So, I mean practice these kinds of things that may be a little ruder in private, maybe don’t do it in public, or do it away from people if you’re worried about swearing and people overhearing you, or hearing you swear. But, if this was me practicing these things I would go out into say the park across the road from where I live and I would act them out as if I was having a discussion with someone I was angry with, and I’d be like “Who gives a damn?”, “Who gives a fuck?”, “Who gives a shit?”, you know, actively use them in that kind of way, and you’re probably more likely to remember these kinds of phrases when you… when you ah… role play, when you act them out. So, whether it’s something rude like this or any of the other expressions that I teach you, role playing is a really really effective way that um… I like to use this all the time when I’m learning languages, and trying to learn new phrases. So, I go out and I walk around and… and I just try and say them as if I was actually having a conversation and using those phrases where they make sense as opposed to just listening and repeating with no emotion and no real context. Anyway, that’s the episode for today guys. I hope you’re enjoying it and I’ll chat to you soon. See you later!