tinker's dam

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n tinker's dam something of little value "his promise is not worth a damn","not worth one red cent","not worth shucks"
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Idioms

Not worth a tinker's dam - This means that something is worthless and dates back to when someone would travel around the countryside repairing things such as a kitchen pot with a hole in it. He was called a 'tinker'. His dam was used to stop the flow of soldering material being used to close the hole. Of course his 'trade' is passé, thus his dam is worth nothing.
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Usage

In literature:

I wouldn't give a tinker's dam for you, whatever that is, if you didn't want to do something for those fellows over there.
"The Firefly Of France" by Marion Polk Angellotti
He 's figurin' on two or three days' get-a-way, and so don't care a tinker's dam 'bout these yere marks.
"Molly McDonald" by Randall Parrish
Without it the world's not worth a tinker's dam.
"Parrot & Co." by Harold MacGrath
I don't care a tinker's dam what the 'kepting' has said.
"The Viking Blood" by Frederick William Wallace
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