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[not] /nɒt/

a Boolean operator that returns a positive result if its operand is negative and a negative result if its operand is positive.

(conjunction) not that, which is not to say or suppose that: I expect to lose the game — not that I mind Also (archaic) not but what
sentence substitute
used to indicate denial, negation, or refusal: certainly not

negative particle, mid-13c., unstressed variant of noht, naht “in no way” (see naught). As an interjection to negate what was said before or reveal it as sarcasm, it is first attested 1900; popularized 1989 by “Wayne’s World” sketches on “Saturday Night Live” TV show. To not know X from Y (one’s ass from one’s elbow, shit from Shinola, etc.) was a construction first attested c.1930. Double negative construction not un- was derided by Orwell, but is persistent and ancient in English, popular with Milton and the Anglo-Saxon poets.


What has just been stated is emphatically not true: Millions of animals in experimental labs die annually. Shock value? NOT!/ Hooray for Pat Buchanan, not!/ Dan Quayle has already filmed a commercial declaring Murphy Brown his favorite show …”not” (1990s+)


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  • Not say boo

    verb phrase To keep silent; not respond: He didn’t say boo when I called him a thief [1940s+; perhaps fr earlier not say boo to a goose, ”to be afraid or too timid to speak”]

  • Not so hot

    adjective phrase Not very good; mediocre; poor: I didn’t flunk, but my record isn’t so hot [1926+ Teenagers; the form not so warm is found by 1900]

  • Notspot

    networking, humour In contrast with wireless hotspot, a place where there is no means to connect to the Internet. While the term “hotspot” refers to a wireless local area network, “notspot” might also mean a place without decent DSL (broadband Internet) connection. (2009-05-28)

  • Not suffer fools gladly

    Refuse to tolerate stupidity, as in Chris can be intimidating at these meetings; she does not suffer fools gladly. This expression comes from the New Testament (II Corinthians 11:19), where Paul sarcastically says, “For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.” [ c. 1600 ]

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