Tinker-s-damn meaning

tĭngkərz
The smallest degree or amount.

Property that is not worth a tinker's damn.

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Something of no value.
noun
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Origin of tinker-s-damn

  • Probably from the reputation of tinkers for cursing

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • However, this is just polish added to an old phrase, as not worth a damn predates the use of tinker's damn. The reference to tinkers was added for emphasis and colour - tinkers were known for swearing, so a damn from a tinker was particularly worthless. Also, it was a way, as with "Fudge" or "Geez Louise" or a million other soft-core curses, to avoid saying the actual word "damn" while pronouncing the word "dam".

    From Wiktionary

  • A popular etymology is that tinkers used a small piece of dough or clay, a dam, to stop the flow of solder until it solidified. The dam was single-use, and was thrown away afterwards as useless.

    From Wiktionary