don't do 'jack'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Melonwannabe, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Melonwannabe New Member

    Chinese
    I learned this from a magazine: I may just sit around , and don't do jack...What does "jack" mean ?
    I leaned from my friend, "jack" also means steal, it's right?
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Welcome to the forum. :)

    It is, for me, a short form of "jack shit" -- both of which mean nothing.

    He doesn't know jack. [He doesn't know (nothing) anything at all.]
    We didn't do jack. [We didn't do (nothing) anything at all.]
     
  3. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Agreed :)
    Not heard it in BE though, but most of us are aware of this.
     
  4. Melonwannabe New Member

    Chinese
    cool!!! thank you guys!
     
  5. ><FISH'> Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    British English
    The most common BE equivelant would be "fuck" and "fuck all". Understandably much less used formally.
     
  6. Thomas Veil Senior Member

    English - USA
    This is being used as a noun. When it mean "steal", it's being used as a noun.

    But if you don't know nothing, doesn't that mean you know something? I interpret it as meaning "a worthlessly small amount". So, "I don't do jack" means "I do so little, even 'jack' would be more than what I'm doing. Imagine the smallest amount that someone could do; I do less than that."

    You can also say "I don't know jack".
     
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    That's not my interpretation, as I've mentioned. And I don't think discussions of double negatives (which I acknowledge in my post) mean much when you're talking about something as slangy as jack shit. If you're using those terms, there's a good chance you're not following standard English in the rest of your phrasing.
     

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