I guess that expression is used when someone is talking about something that he/she doesn't want to care about, I mean, 'Why do I have to care about? I don't want.' Is my guess correct?

4 Answers 4


It's another piece of pop-culture slang from decades ago that's misquoted. The phrase originally was,"Why should I care?", which actually makes sense, but more simply could be expressed with, "I don't care," because the question, indeed, is rhetorical.


What do I care?

In spoken discourse, this is almost certainly going to be spoken as "What do I care?", where the speaker emphasizes I to make a distinction between the speaker and the other party. Using this phrase shows your indifference to what the other party is interested in. I believe it is meant to be ironic, but using this phrase will often come across as mean-spirited.

For example:

-- There is a discount on sliced bread at the supermarket!
-- What do I care? (= I understand you have an interest in that, but to me it is of little or no consequence.)

A similar phrase is "What does he know?", used to shows a contrast in knowledge in an ironic way.

-- I think we should go that way.
-- What do you know? We normally end up lost when we follow your advice.

-- This looks like genuine gold. But what do I know? I'm no expert.


It means simply, "I don't care" or "How does that apply to me?"

It's generally considered a rude phrase.


Yes, that's pretty much what it means. It also implies "What does that have to do with me—why should I care?"

In any case, it is a rhetorical question, and often sarcastic.

  • Also worth noting is that it's often used sarcastically. Mar 24, 2015 at 23:17

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