from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection idiomatic, emphatic, colloquial A phrase used almost always sarcastically to express disbelief.
  • interjection literally, colloquial Correct; affirmative; yes; yes, that is correct.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The apocryphal story…

    LECTURER: In English, a double negative conveys a positive meaning. In certain other languages, it merely intensifies the negative meaning. However, there is no language where a double positive signifies a negative.

    STUDENT: Yeah, right.

    May 11, 2008

  • Of course, this story ignores the existence of sarcasm. Said differently, the same student reply would be affirming the lecturer. It always annoys me when people say "I could care less" is wrong, since if you could care less, that means you care a little, but they miss the sarcastic tone.

    May 13, 2008

  • Still a great story.

    May 13, 2008

  • Hi seanahan! I'm raising my hand to respectfully disagree with you. See my comments on I could care less. :-)

    May 13, 2008

  • I agree with ptero. If a person wanted to use sarcasm when saying "I could care less," they would say "I could care less", meaning "I just might be able, if I try really hard, to care less", but they don't; they usually say: "I c'd care less", which tells me that they mean, "it is impossible for me to care less." But I have come to accept this as an American idiom that is technically ungrammatical (given the intended meaning) but widespread and understood, nevertheless, like saying "I don't know who you're talking about" instead of "I don't know whom you're talking about."

    May 13, 2008

  • Hang on, I'm still wanting to rub body parts with the initial premise, ie. that a certain discourse style (in this case correctly identified as sarcasm) can overturn the polarity of a double positive. There's something powerful going on there. Worth considering.

    May 13, 2008

  • I say "I couldn't care less." And when I do, I mean it. I've always been confused by people who say "I could care less" and I often correct them. I've never known anyone to use it sarcastically, just improperly.

    Unless the person said it as a question, it's not sarcastic.

    May 13, 2008