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Dam all

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 22, 2007

In Reply to: Dam all posted by R. Berg on May 21, 2007

: : I would like to know the origin of the phrase "Dam All". I had never heard this exact phrase before 5/21/07.

: That would be "Damn all." It's simply the old curse "damn" applied to everything. The speaker is wishing the whole world to hell. I doubt that a first use can be found. ~rb

Or it's an emphatic way to say "nothing at all", as in these two examples quoted by the OED:

"1922 JOYCE Ulysses 417 Proud possessor of damnall. 1926 D. L. SAYERS Clouds of Witness x. 187, I'll tell you my story as shortly as I can, and you'll see I know damn all about it...."

Joyce is their earliest example.