Green’s Dictionary of Slang

give a fuck v.

also give a sweet fuck
[backform. f. not give a fuck v.]

1. (orig. US) to care about, to be concerned; usu. in negative sense, e.g. who gives a fuck?

[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 24: Nobody gives a fuck about her except to use her.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 18 April in Proud Highway (1997) 506: In other words, ‘who can afford to give a fuck?’ I’m all right Jack, etc.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 139: Once in a while I do somethin that might look to you like I give a fuck about some a these scumbags.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 72: So who gives a fuck?
[US](con. 1970s) J. Pistone Donnie Brasco (2006) 362: Who’s gonna give a fuck if they find another dead wiseguy?
[US]Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 90: All I gave a fuck about was my watch.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] I couldn’t really give a fuck about anything at the moment.
[US]E. Quiñones Bodega Dreams 91: ‘The nigga had that shit coming.’ [...] ‘Sapo, bro, what you gonna do?’ ‘I could give two fucks,’ he said. ‘I never felt better’.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 99: Who gives a fuck about you, Flood.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘The Target’ Wire ser. 1 ep. 1 [TV script] Teach you to give a fuck when it ain’t your turn to give a fuck.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 32: Personally I could give a fuck.
[UK]Guardian G2 3 July 6/2: Who gives a fuck about who I’m fucking?
[US]N. Walker Cherry 12: I doubt if he gives a fuck about what I’m up to.
[US]F. Bill Back to the Dirt 167: ‘he man gave zero fucks’.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US](con. 1968) D.A. Dye Citadel (1989) 119: This is no place for cheap give-a-fuck attitudes.
[US]L. Rodríguez Always Running (1996) 149: He knew he had mostly indisciplined could-give-a-fuck dudes to shape up.
[Aus]P. Doyle (con. late 1950s) Amaze Your Friends (2019) 44: [T]heir loud clothes and couldn’t-give-a-fuck manner.