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I'm a bit confused of this phrase "Never Don't Give up". What does it actually mean? Never give up or just give up @.@ Please advise. ***Thank you so much for all of your help.
At first I really confused why he/she wanted to have that tattoo? Now I got it:) Thanks!

phrase freshly tattooed on man's inner arm

I see it in the tattoo picture. Does it supposed to be motivate someone to never give up?

  • Where did you hear this phrase? – Kevin Workman Feb 22 '18 at 19:11
  • @KevinWorkman Obviously, he/she got this from a tattoo picture. And Mimi, why would anybody get a tattoo that means to give up. Even though the meaning itself is unclear, you can infer that the meaning is never give up. – Taryn Lambert Feb 22 '18 at 19:51
  • @TarynLambert Obviously, the information about the tattoo was added after my comment. – Kevin Workman Feb 22 '18 at 19:56
  • You should accept the answer that helped the most. Click on the greyed checkmark beneath the bottom arrow and it should turn green. You'll also get two reward points. – Mari-Lou A Feb 22 '18 at 21:10
  • Did you get this from the picture, or is it the tattoo you woke up with after an all-night bender? – Hot Licks Feb 22 '18 at 21:14
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It's a joke tattoo.

Two common (to the point of being trite cliches) phrases are "don't give up" and "never give up".

The tattoo combines them to make a joke, because the combination technically is a double negative that literally means "always give up".

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It's not English. I don't think any native English speaker would say Never don't give up.

Many English speakers, however, would say Don't never give up. It's not grammatical in any standard English as far as I know, but it is grammatical and common in several non-standard varieties of English.

Some people will tell you that it "means" always give up. They have plenty of authority on their side, but they are talking nonsense. When any English speaker hears somebody say Don't never give up, they may complain about it, but they perfectly well understand that the speaker means Never give up, and claiming that it "means" something different from what they invariably understand it to mean is absurd.

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  • (1) It might be worth saying that “don’t never give up” really means “don’t ever give up”, which is more emphatic than “never give up”.  (2) I’ve never heard “Never don’t give up”, but, given the popularity of ‘‘I could care less’’ and other nonsense, it’s risky to speculate that any sequence of English words would never be assembled by a native English speaker. – Scott Feb 23 '18 at 20:29
  • @Scott, it's not remotely parallel. I could care less is syntactically a perfectly normal, grammatical English sentence. The only thing that makes it odd is that it is often used with a meaning directly opposite to its apparent meaning. I am claiming that Never don't give up is grammatically deviant, not in the kind of grammar that used to be taught in school, but in the innate grammar that every native speaker knows without knowing they know it. It could be said as a deliberate error, like All your base are belong to us. – Colin Fine Feb 23 '18 at 23:35

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