Dam and damn are another pair of heterographs (a subset of homophone), and while dam is considered a very informal alternative spelling for damn, please use dam only as a swear word in a character’s dialogue to establish that character as an ignorant person. It really isn’t appropriate, damn it.
If you keep to dam as a barrier that holds back or confines, you’ll do fine.
Now if you want to get mad, well damn me, go ahead and be damned.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Ask Difference: Dam vs Damn; Cambridge Dictionary: damn; Dictionary.com: dam, damn; The Free Dictionary: dam, damn|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Abbreviation; Adjective; Adverb; Exclamation; Noun 1, 2; Verb, transitive 1
Misspelling for: damn
|Adjective; Adverb; Exclamation; Verb, intransitive & transitive|
|barrier, something that holds back
Decameter(s), dekameter(s), decametre(s)
Adjective, Adverb, Exclamation:
[Also dental dam] A rubber sheet used to keep saliva from the teeth during dental operations, or as a prophylactic device during cunnilingus and anilingus
[Archaic] A mother 2
A king or crowned piece in the game of checkers
[Informal; a shortened form of damned] Used to emphasize or express anger or frustration with someone or something
[Informal] The least valuable bit
To prove (someone) guilty
Condemn, especially by the public expression of disapproval
To declare (something) to be bad, unfit, invalid, or illegal
It needs to be 10 dam. long
A dam. is a metric unit of length, equal to 10 meters.
“Storage capacity (in cubic decameters) of each reservoir is design capacity and does not represent the volume of water in the reservoirs during the study” (Donald).
He was screaming over and over “Dam scabs!”
She was a damn good pianist.
Stop, Ruth, dammit. I said stop it, right now.
Hoover Dam is located outside of Las Vegas.
There’s a beaver dam just up the river here.
“It’s as if a dam had burst,” said the Cossack hopelessly.
We’re going to place this dam in your mouth before we start drilling.
Arkitekt is the dam of this little guy.
Puppies can resemble the sire, the dam, or a combination of the parents or even a remote ancestor.
The closed lock gates dammed up the canal.
Discussion was in full flow and refused to be dammed.
The Tennessee Valley was dammed up back in the 1930s.
She’s too damn arrogant.
She is one damn fine pilot.
That car was going damn fast!
Damn! I can’t find my keys.
It’s not worth a damn.
His promise is not worth a damn.
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Glory be damned!
The enterprise was damned.
That is a crowd of intellectuals whom he damns as rigid doctrinaire idealists.
She cleared her throat, damning it for its huskiness.
Damn him for making this sound trivial.
He was damned to live out his life in poverty.
Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!
Noun: damfool, dammer
|Adjective: damnable, damnatory, damned, damnedest, damning
Adverb: damnably, damned, damningly
Noun: damnation, damner
Verb, transitive: predamn
|History of the Word:|
|Middle English from the Old French dam(p)ner, from the Latin dam(p)nare meaning inflict loss on, from damnum meaning loss, damage.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Resources for Dam versus Damn
Donald, David B., Allan J. Cessna, Ed Sverko, and Nancy E. Glozier. “Pesticides in Surface Drinking-water Supplies of the Northern Great Plains.” Environmental Health Perspectives. The Free Dictionary.com. 1 Aug 2007. Web. 7 Aug 2020. <https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Pesticides+in+surface+drinking-water+supplies+of+the+northern+Great…-a0170116428>.
Weissert, Will. “Tourism Rebounds on Violence-marred Border Lake.” Monterey Herald. 11 Sept 2018. Web. 8 Aug 2020. <https://www.montereyherald.com/2011/06/19/tourism-rebounds-on-violence-marred-border-lake/>.
Pinterest Photo Credits:
Oroville Dam Spillway, 11 Feb 2017, by William Croyle with the California Department of Water Resources is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.