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89 votes
Accepted

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

One option for a word is whit1 : the smallest part or particle imaginable Don't care a whit2 is even an idiomatic phrase: didn't care at all. Sally thought Joe liked her, but he didn't care ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 3,545
70 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

How about 'don't care a bit' it rhymes with your sh... word. Here's a link to 'not a bit'; 'I don't care a bit' is also idiomatic. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/not+one+bit
Jelila's user avatar
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62 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "bull" in Byron's "this is no bull, although it sounds so"

Bull, without the attending excrement, has meant "exaggerations; lies; nonsense" since the early seventeenth century. The excrement emerged in the early twentieth, and since then bull has seemed to be ...
KarlG's user avatar
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57 votes
Accepted

Why did Blake spell "tyger" with a "y"?

SUPPLEMENTAL: There are two reasons for not "updating the spelling". The first is that scholars are reluctant to tamper with an author's work; they do so only in order to make works which would ...
46 votes

I am looking for a word (a noun preferably but an adjective would suffice) that denotes a person that knowingly allows another to use them regularly

One possibility: Merriam-Webster doormat 2: one that submits without protest to abuse or indignities It's metaphoric extension of the basic meaning - someone who gets "walked on" a lot.
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
43 votes
Accepted

Can we use "whisky" to describe a squirrel going up a tree?

It’s a rare word (or expression since it collocates as “whisky frisky”), but it is in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED.com) so it’s not a neologism. It’s a poem, so the author likely isn’t worried ...
Laurel's user avatar
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42 votes

Why did Blake spell "tyger" with a "y"?

Tyger is an archaic spelling that was used alongside tiger; it is safe to assume it was a standard spelling since it occurs in old encyclopedias and dictionaries. According to the Google Ngram data (...
J. Siebeneichler's user avatar
42 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

A traditional expression for this is don't give/care a fig. Cambridge Dictionaries says it's old-fashioned, but I think the meaning should still be clear in context even for folks who haven't heard it....
1006a's user avatar
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23 votes

When quoting poetry, is it appropriate to place [sic] after a lowercase 'I'?

The purpose of "sic" is to indicate to the reader that the original text has been preserved. There is no need to use it if the reader has no reason to suspect otherwise. Therefore, if you ...
MarcInManhattan's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

For whom the bell tolls - origin of "ask not" instead of "never send to know"

I was curious to know whether the "ask not" preface that people commonly attach to Donne's original wording was an artifact of the early 1960s, perhaps under the influence of John Kennedy's &...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 165k
21 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

Jot "Because you don’t care a jot about radioactive decay." This may be UK only usage though. Not sure. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/jot: noun the least part of something; a little bit:...
camden_kid's user avatar
20 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

lick I've definitely heard "don't care a lick about [something]", it's a folksy Huckleberry Finn kind of thing to say. Among the various listings in dictionary.com: lick [...] noun [...] ...
pjs36's user avatar
  • 379
20 votes

Can we use "whisky" to describe a squirrel going up a tree?

Interestingly, the expression “whisky-frisky”, spelled with a hyphen, is an example of a reduplication, albeit very rare. Similar to binomial pairs, reduplication is usually two words but which rhyme ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.6k
19 votes

Can I contract "you is" to "you's"?

There is no very specific definition of what "proper contraction" means. From some people's point of view, it is most "proper" to avoid contractions altogether—despite the fact ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 82.9k
17 votes

I am looking for a word (a noun preferably but an adjective would suffice) that denotes a person that knowingly allows another to use them regularly

I would propose pushover or lapdog Pushover someone unable to resist an attraction or appeal : sucker Lapdog 2 : a servile dependent or follower
Jan Rzymkowski's user avatar
13 votes

Did noted 17th century poet Katherine Philips make a grammatical error?

At the time Philips wrote the poem, around the middle of the 17th century, the use of 'I' as the object of a verb or preposition was (sometimes) considered grammatical. As noted in the entry under I, ...
JEL's user avatar
  • 32.9k
13 votes

I am looking for a word (a noun preferably but an adjective would suffice) that denotes a person that knowingly allows another to use them regularly

A fashionable word is "simp". It refers to men who allow themselves to be used by women in the hope of receiving favours or approval. The older meaning of this word is "simpleton", ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
12 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

t all because you don’t care at all about radioactive decay
TOOGAM's user avatar
  • 481
11 votes
Accepted

What does the word "wind" mean in this John Donne poem?

It means wind It doesn’t have some other, lost meaning here (as far as we know): it refers to that annoying thing that’s always against you when cycling and refuses to make an appearance when you’re ...
Janus Bahs Jacquet's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Word for including by exclusion

Apophasis The raising of an issue by claiming not to mention it “I shall not mention Caesar's avarice, nor his cunning, nor his morality.” (MW) Can also be called paralipsis, praeterito, or ...
Hank's user avatar
  • 4,998
11 votes

Can we use "whisky" to describe a squirrel going up a tree?

As other answers have pointed out, this particular example of rhyming repetition dates back at least as far as the 18th century, being used in "The Race," a satirical poem by Cuthbert Shaw (1766), who ...
shoover's user avatar
  • 1,905
11 votes
Accepted

What does "spinning upon the shoals" mean?

I don't think there is any allusion to shoals of fish here. In the first stanza, there has been a storm at sea, with four survivors and forty lost, "gone down together into the boiling sand." The "...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 4,104
11 votes

What is it called when a poetry stanza alternates between iambic tetrameter and triameter?

This is called 'Common Metre'if it is repeated once, that is to say if the lines are : 8,6,8,6. The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want. He makes me down to lie In pastures green : he leadeth me the ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 24.8k
11 votes

Can I contract "you is" to "you's"?

Yes, and it's been done. A quick Google of 'lyrics "loving you's"' shows: "Loving You's A Dirty Job (But Somebody's Gotta Do It)", on Bonnie Tyler's 1986 album "Secret Dreams ...
CCTO's user avatar
  • 735
11 votes
Accepted

Is there a name for this kind of loose pseudo alliteration? for example, gold -> glitter, crown -> king

"Alliteration" is a broad term, not a specific one. It covers both systems described in the question. To refer generally to alliteration that matches the entire syllable onset, I would ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 82.9k
11 votes
Accepted

Parse Pope's "they humbly take upon content"

This is an obsolete idiom, according to the OED: To take upon content means "to accept without question or examination." Content here means "acceptance of conditions or circumstances, ...
Stuart F's user avatar
  • 10.4k
10 votes

What is the name of this rhyme scheme: ABABCCDDC?

This is a Ronsardian Ode and was named after Pierre de Ronsard: Ronsardian Ode The Ronsardian ode (named after Pierre de Ronsard 1524-1585) is the only kind of ode that specifies a particular ...
Gary's user avatar
  • 9,713
10 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

I’m not sure that the purpose of this list is collective poetry writing, but while this question is live I suggest that many of the other entries — including the accepted one — could be improved upon. ...
David's user avatar
  • 12.9k
10 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

Many words will work here. Practically any word that indicates a small amount will convey the sense you're looking for: you don't care a bit... you don't care a smidgen... you don't care an ounce... ...
Octopus's user avatar
  • 889

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