I want a more appropriate phrase that has the same form ("give a **") and meaning as the offensive "give a f**k/d**n/s**t". Is there any?
How about not giving a rat's tail?
"I couldn't care less," perhaps?
'give a monkey's' is all that comes to my mind. It is used as a direct euphemism specifically to avoid using the profanities in the examples you offered.
I believe it is shortened from "give a monkey's ass (arse)", which might still be considered offensive by some.
I don't give a hoot!
I couldn't give a fig!
but the latter is very close to one of your starred-out versions :)
I don't give a toss.
It's not as aggressive as the other four letter words, though.
Traditionally, "darn" is the euphemism for "damn." You'll also hear "I don't give a hoot," but these mild phrasings are quite Milquetoastish and will give you a folksy, rural, senior-citizen air. Better to up your game and re-phrase for added power. "I don't give a _ " implies that your attention is not sufficiently engaged.
If that's the case, don't lean on a cliche. Point your criticism at the source of your ennui.
I don't give a flying fuck :)
You could use the famous historical quote from General Sam Sturgis...
"I don't care for John Pope one pinch of owl dung."
protected by tchrist♦ Jul 2 '14 at 2:29
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