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    #1

    diddly-squat

    "He has been collecting coins but many aren't worth diddly-squat."

    "diddly-squat=nothing at all"? Is it used correctly in the context? Wouldn't it be double negative in a way?

  1. Munch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: diddly-squat

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "He has been collecting coins but many aren't worth diddly-squat."

    "diddly-squat=nothing at all"? Is it used correctly in the context? Wouldn't it be double negative in a way?
    First, "diddly-squat" is usually (always?) used in the negative - your example is correct usage as far as I understand the term.

    "Diddly-squat" means very, very little, but "not worth diddly-squat" is not necessarily a double negative. It could be interpreted as, "Not even worth diddly-squat", or in other words, worth nothing.

    In any case, double negatives are often used in informal English, and "diddly-squat" is certainly informal.

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    #3

    Re: diddly-squat

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    First, "diddly-squat" is usually (always?) used in the negative - your example is correct usage as far as I understand the term.

    "Diddly-squat" means very, very little, but "not worth diddly-squat" is not necessarily a double negative. It could be interpreted as, "Not even worth diddly-squat", or in other words, worth nothing.

    In any case, double negatives are often used in informal English, and "diddly-squat" is certainly informal.
    Do we use a double negative sometimes to stress negation?

    "I haven't got nothing to say about this." Is it informally used to say that he couldn't have said anything because he doesn't know it?

  2. Munch's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: diddly-squat

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Do we use a double negative sometimes to stress negation?

    "I haven't got nothing to say about this." Is it informally used to say that he couldn't have said anything because he doesn't know it?
    We? Well, I don't use it, except as a joke. Some dialects use double negation though. I don't feel qualified to discuss it because it is not part of my natural speech.

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