Green’s Dictionary of Slang

not care a tinker’s (curse) v.

also not give a tinker’s (curse), not care/give a tinker’s blast, ...continental, ...cuss, ...damn, ...darn, ...fart, ...a tinsmith’s malediction
[the lack of importance one gives a curse thrown over the shoulder of a departing tinker who has been unable to sell anything or find work; note letter 08/02/1999 from Mr George Shaw: ‘I learnt my trade as a Tinker and Plumber, and I used a tinkers cuss many, many times. When the copper kettle was heated on the open fire, the fire would burn a hole in the bend at the bottom of the spout. The tinker would take a piece of bread and ram it into the spout blocking up the hole. He would then proceed to solder a patch onto the hole . The bread would dam up the hole, hence a tinker’s cuss. This was also a way the plumber would use to soak up the water in the lead pipe (if there was a small seepage of water) whilst he wiped a joint. On both occasions, once the jobs were finished, the water would wash out the bread; the OED, however, dismisses a similar ety. for tinker’s dam(n) as ‘ingenious but baseless’]

to not care at all.

[US]W.T. Thompson Chronicles of Pineville 173: ‘’Shaw, I wouldn’t care a tinker’s cus,’ said Sam, ‘if I only jest hadn’ta killed Blaze.’.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 22/1: We had plenty of ‘sugar;’ plenty of bl—dy cheek, and didn’t care a tinker’s curse for anything.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Jan. 7/1: He does not give a tinsmith’s malediction for opposition either, though in his charitable estimate of his opponent’s ability he is prepared to concede a point of better qualification to the municipal magnate.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 18 Mar. 1/8: I wouldn’t give a tinker’s cuss for all the wine that was ever bottled.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 24 Oct. 1/1: I will not mind a tinker’s curse, which is a proverbial cheap oath.
[US]S.E. White Blazed Trail 160: Do you suppose Morrison and Daly give a tinker’s dam how many men of theirs you lick?
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 1 June 4/6: I’ll do all the shieving required. I don’t care a tinker’s imprecation what he was.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 June 4/6: No one cares a dump / Or a tinker’s blast.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 9 Sept. 4/8: Wheatley doesn’t give a tinker’s / Whether he grows rich or not.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Aug. 3/2: Oh! we don’t care a tinker’s d--m, / Just tell the band to play.
[US]Hawaiian Star (Honolulu) 14 Oct. 6/4: Nobody gives a tinker’s cuss whwether the pumpkin-headed Tankanmotu runs twenty miles.
[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 711: I knew that with all my fine aspirations I wasn’t as true a man as fellows whose talk was silly oaths and who didn’t care a tinker’s curse about their soul.
[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 89: ‘A good game this: shot at dawn, probably,’ I said to myself, not really caring a tinker’s curse.
[US]G.H. Mullin Adventures of a Scholar Tramp 293: I don’t give a tinker’s damn if she rambles off to Baffin Bay.
[UK]R. Hall Well of Loneliness (1976) 214: I don’t care a tinker’s darn what you say!
[US]E. Dahlberg Bottom Dogs 56: For the first couple of nites no one gave a tinker’s-damn about Lorry.
[US]‘R. Scully’ Scarlet Pansy 302: Marjorie would not have given a tinker’s damn to sit there.
[UK]M. Benedeta Streets Markets of London 106: We didn’t care a tinker’s continental for anybody.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 146: Nobody caring a tinker’s whether it did or not.
[UK]Dundee Courier 11 Jan. 2/4: They never cared a tinker’s cuss what happened.
[UK]R. Holles Now thrive the Armourers 58: Nobody ever giving a tinker’s f--t.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 146: ‘Melbourne,’ went on my friend, ‘just doesn’t give a tinker’s damn.’.
[Ire]T. Mac Intyre Charollais n.p.: The Charollais [...] had never looked more mundane, sprawled there, chewing a head of the national vegetable, and, by all appearances, not giving a tinker’s fart what happened [BS].
[Ire]J.B. Keane Letters of Irish Parish Priest (1997) 131: I don’t give a tinker’s curse about the bishop [...] There is nothing you or the bishop can do to me.
[UK]‘Hergé’ Tintin and the Picaros 46: We don’t give a tinker’s cuss for his revolution.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 244: We don’t give a tinker’s damn for any of that.
[UK]G. Young Slow Boats to China (1983) 418: I didn’t give a tinker’s damn. Nothing on earth mattered.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 113: It was the flat disinterest with which she looked at men, as if she didn’t give a tinker’s either way.
[Ire]L. Redmond Emerald Square 310: I did not give a tinker’s curse where I died, as long as I did not live long enough to grow old.
[UK]I. Rankin Wolfman 39: As to who found her, I don’t give a tinker’s cuss.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 138: The heart’s gone out [...] Nobody gives a tinker’s.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 8 Mar. 11: She didn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the restrictions the UN aid-ocrats tried to put on her.
[US]J. McCourt ‘Vilja de Tanquay Exults’ in Queer Street 300: Associates don’t care so much as a spart / [...] not a bloody / Tinker’s toss.
[Aus]P. Carey Theft 181: He did not give a tinker’s damn about the opinion of the men in the vestry.
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 312: Neither one of you minds worth tinker’s dam’.