Do you give a damn?

-Rhett, Rhett! Rhett! If you go, where shall I go?  What shall I do?  Who will pay my rent?  My car payment is due like this week, oh, and you promised me a new pair of Louboutin’s….
-Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
-Wait a minute.. a dam is an Indian coin, who are you giving that Indian coin to?  What am I supposed to do with an Indian coin?  I’m confused.. I must search through my old books in the library to figure out what the heck Rhett is talking about!  He’s weird!  Good riddance!
Hello my dear students!  I am back after Rhett so rudely walked out and said something about an Indian coin!  So I investigated in my library what he was talking about. My trusty big book that has acted as such a reliable source over the years, tells me that the expression: “give a damn” as in what Rhett said, “I don’t give a damn” comes from.. let me read it:
The expression was originally “give a dam” without an N on the dam and was probably brought back to England from India by military men in the mid 18th century.  A dam was an Indian coin of little value.
See… that’s the Indian coin I was talking about!  Sounds like a great story, huh?  Give a dam refers to giving a worthless coin to someone! Sounds like a great tale, but it is completely false!
Not to give a damn does come from the 18th century but the express “not to give a curse” also formed around then and the word Damn had been around long before, coming from the Latin verb damnare which means “damage, loss, hurt”, where damage comes from as well.  So, Rhett meant damn in the cursing sense and not in the Indian coin sense.  But that will still pretty rude of him, right? But that’s fine.. I have a new boyfriend now anyway.  His name is Norman.. he has his own business, like a hotel or something, and is a sweet momma’s boy!
For your homework, did you see Gone With the Wind?  Also, can you think of some words today that used to be considered  swear words not too long ago, but are commonplace today?
Bye bye my dear students, going to go take a shower, Norman is on his way over.


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