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in•dif•fer•ence(ɪnˈdɪf ər əns, -ˈdɪf rəns)
Indifferenceof waiters—Lipton, 1970.
have other fish to fry To have other, more important matters to attend to; to have better things to do or more pressing business to occupy one’s time and attention. A stock phrase used to give someone the brush-off, this expression dates from the 17th century. It implies that one has no time to waste on unimportant (usually someone else’s) concerns.
“I’ve got other things in hand …
I’ve got other fish to fry.” (Margaret Oliphant, A Poor Gentleman, 1889)
not give a continental To be so scornful as to refuse to give something even so worthless as a continental. The continental was paper scrip issued by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution and was considered to be of virtually no value as a medium of exchange.
not give a damn Not to care, not to be concerned, to have no interest or stake in. Damn is a mild obscenity which has no connection with the practically worthless old Indian coin, a dam, as has been repeatedly and mistakenly conjectured.
It was obvious, as one angry young woman remarked, that he didn’t give a damn—and so they were enraged. (J. Cary, Captive and Free, 1959)
not give a fig To be indifferent or actively hostile toward. The term fig has been in use since 1450 to denote a worthless or insignificant object. Some trace this meaning to ancient Greece where figs were so plentiful as to be worth little or nothing. Others relate it to the fig or fico of the phrase to give the fig (INSULT). Shakespeare plays on the two senses of the term in Henry V:
A figo for thy friendship!—
The fig of Spain. (III, iv)
not give a hoot To be indifferent toward, to be totally unconcerned about. Hoot in this expression is short for hooter, which in turn is thought to be a corruption of iota ‘a whit, a jot.’ Although the abbreviated form hoot did not appear until the early 20th century, hooter was in use in this and similar phrases during the 19th century. Not give a hoot has combined with the similar expression not give a continental to form the currently popular not give a continental hoot. See not worth a continental, WORTHLESSNESS.
I do not give a hoot if it’s colder, and I do not give two hoots what any given cabbie thinks about it. (The Chicago Sun, November, 1947)
not give a rap Not to care or be concerned about. A rap was a counterfeit coin worth about half a farthing which was circulated in Ireland during the 18th century due to the shortage of genuine currency. The worthlessness and neglibility of the literal rap gave rise to the figurative expression.
For the mare-with-three-legs [the gallows], boys, I care not a rap. (William Harrison Ainsworth, Rookwood, 1834)
not give a tinker’s dam To care so little as not to give even something without value; also, not give a tinker’s damn. Conflicting views are current as to the origin of this expression. A dam is a worthless bit of metal used (by tinkers, among others) to keep molten solder in a certain place till it has cooled and solidified. On the other hand, itinerant tinkers were considered of the lowest class, traditionally ill-mannered and given to the use of foul language. To such a one, damn may have been so mild an obscenity as to have no meaning in a string of invective.
|Noun||1.||indifference - unbiased impartial unconcern|
unconcern - a feeling of lack of concern
|2.||indifference - apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactions|
apathy - an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
|3.||indifference - the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally|
|4.||indifference - the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern|
carefreeness - the trait of being without worry or responsibility
disregard interest, concern, care, attention, regard, commitment, enthusiasm, heed
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity" [George Bernard Shaw The Devil's Disciple]
"I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion" [Robert Louis Stevenson The New Arabian Nights]