never mind: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘never mind’ mean?

The idiom "never mind" is used to dismiss or disregard something that has been said or done, indicating that it is not important or relevant.

Idiom Explorer

Verbal Mystique

The idiom "never mind" is a commonly used expression in the English language. It dates back to the 18th century and is formed by combining the words "never" and "mind." It is used in conversation to dismiss or negate something, indicating that it is not worth considering or discussing further. It can be interpreted as a polite way of saying "don't worry about it" or "pay no attention to it."

When someone responds with "never mind" to a question or request, it can also imply that they do not want to provide an answer or assist with the task. It conveys indifference or disinterest, suggesting that further information or assistance is not necessary.

The idiom "never mind" is versatile and can be used in various contexts. It can brush off minor issues, indicate a change of topic, or convey a lack of concern or interest. It is commonly used in informal speech, but less frequently in formal or written communication.

While "never mind" is widely understood and used, its interpretation may vary depending on the cultural context and individual communication style. Some may perceive it as rude or dismissive, while others may see it as a convenient way to signal disinterest or a lack of willingness to engage further.

Forget the expression's meaning; ignore its understanding entirely.

The related idiom "never you mind" is similar to "never mind" but adds emphasis. It is often used to dismiss someone's curiosity or request for information, implying that the matter is none of their business. It conveys a sense of privacy or secrecy.

Another related idiom is "brush off," which means to ignore or dismiss someone or something. It is often used in situations where someone is being disregarded or treated as unimportant. The phrase conveys a lack of interest or concern.

"throw aside" is another related idiom that means to discard or reject something. It is often used when someone decides not to pursue or consider something further. The phrase implies that the thing being thrown aside is of little value or importance.

"scratch that" is a phrase used to retract or disregard a previous statement or idea. It is often used when someone realizes they made a mistake or changed their mind. The phrase indicates a change in direction or a correction in thinking.

The idiom "never mind" and its related idioms are expressions that allow speakers to dismiss, ignore, or reject something. They convey a lack of interest or concern and can be used in various contexts and situations. Whether used to brush off minor issues, decline requests for information, or indicate a change in direction, these idioms have become firmly entrenched in the English language and contribute to its richness and complexity.

Example usage

Examples: 1. I was going to ask you a question, but never mind, I figured it out myself. 2. Can you pass me the salt? Actually, never mind, I found it right here. 3. We were planning to go to the park, but it started raining, so never mind, let's stay indoors.

The idiomatic expression "never mind" is commonly used in English speech to indicate the speaker's decision to not proceed with a previous action or statement. It is often used to dismiss or retract something that was about to be said or done.

In the first example, "never mind" is used to convey the speaker's realization that they no longer need assistance or an answer since they have resolved the issue themselves.

The second example shows the use of "never mind" to cancel a request or action. The speaker originally asked someone to pass them the salt but then changes their mind when they find it nearby.

In the third example, "never mind" is used in response to a change in circumstances. The speaker suggests abandoning their initial plan due to the unexpected rain and proposes an alternative course of action.

The phrase "never mind" is versatile and can be employed in various contexts to convey a similar meaning of disregarding or letting go of a previous idea or intention.

More "Dismissal" idioms