care v, n Usu |kɛr, kɛə, ker, keə, kær, kæə|, also |kjɛr, k(j)ɪr, k(j)ir, kiə(r), kjɜ, kɛ:, kɪə| See Pronc Intro 3.I.1.b and 3.I.16 Pronc-spp kear, keer, kere, kyare
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B As verb.
1 with infin: To object, be unwilling—usu in neg constrs to express willingness or desire. [OED2 care v. 4.b. “In negative and conditional construction: . . Not to mind (something proposed); to have no disinclination or objection, be disposed to. Now only with if, though”; exx with infin constr from 1526, 1611, 1646] chiefly sAppalachians
1835 Kennedy Horse Shoe Robinson 2.69 MD, But if you think . . it would make me bolder to watch of nights, I should not care to try it. Ibid 2.169, Mary is a good daughter, well nurtured, and—I don’t care to say it to her face—will make a thriving wife. 1843 Hall New Purchase 1.265 IN, If you reely wants to hear about them two young fellers, I don’t kere to tell about that Blue Fire scrape; but . . don’t let on about thare namses. [1903 DN 2.308 seMO, Care. . . In negative ‘not to care’; a common expression denoting consent. ‘Will you go to dinner with me?’ ‘I don’t care.’ (Not meant to be indifferent.) 1907 DN 3.229 nwAR, Care. . . In the negative “not to care,” denoting consent.] 1907 DN 3.456 seKY, Care (with negative). . . To be willing. “If I had a horse and carriage I wouldn’t care to take you to Boring.” 1931 Hannum Thursday April 52 wNC, “Come and set?” “I wouldn’t keer to.” The rising inflection of the guest’s voice indicated her willingness, so together they dropped down in the cool grass. 1937 Hall Coll. wNC, eTN, “She don’t care to talk” [means] she doesn’t mind talking, i.e. she is a great talker. 1946 AmSp 21.189 seKY, Care to, to mind (used in the negative). ‘Will you do an errand for me while you are at the store?’ ‘I don’t care to’ (i.e., ‘I don’t mind.’ Cf. the more usual colloquial expression, ‘I don’t care if I do.’). 1969 WV Hist. 30.2.467, One of the most baffling expressions our people use . . is “I don’t care to. . . ” To outlanders this seems to mean a definite “no,” whereas in truth it actually means, “thank you so much, I’d love to.” [1980 DARE File sIN (as of c1900), People might think you were brash if you answered straight out “Yes” to an offer of food or drink, so to be polite you said “I don’t care.”] 1981 High Coll. ceKY (as of c1930), I hope to live my life out so people won’t care to look at me, and I won’t care to meet nobody. 1993 in 1998 Cooper–Cooper Pond Mountain 65 nwNC, The feller said to him, said, “Dave, would you care to ask the blessing?” “Well, no,” Dave said, “I’ll ask the blessing.” 2007 in 2018 DARE File—Internet KY, OH, “I don’t care to do it” apparently has two opposite meanings here in the US. In the North, it means, “I don’t want to do it.” In the South, it means, “I don’t mind doing it.” (The divisions I mention are approximate: I know people from Indiana who use the northern version and people from Ohio who use the southern version, and both are northern states. I live in Kentucky, a border state, where both meanings are current.) 2014 DARE File WV, A friend of mine who came to W.Va. earlier than I did, told about the time early in his days there when he offered to stop and pick up another person to provide transportation to a meeting they were attending and the other person said, “I don’t care to ride with you.”
2 with ~for: To care about, mind—used in negative constrs.
1845 Kirkland Western Clearings 43 MI, “Poh! She goes out sewing!” said Mrs. Burnet. “I don’t care for that,” said the dutiful son, “she has rosy cheeks, and I’ll have her.” 1878 Atlantic Mth. 41.577 eTN, Rick say he’s a-goin’ to it [=a dancing party] hisself, an’ is a-goin’ ter dance too; he ain’t been invited, . . but Rick don’t keer fur that. 1895 Overland Mth. (2d ser) 25.486 sCA, Mebbe you think I’m after the grease, . . but I ain’t. Folks say ye ’r rich, Mr. Bobo, but I don’t keer for that. I’m after Mandy, an’ I ’ll take her in her chimmy [= shimmy n1]. 1971 Down East Nov 26, Maine Circumlocutions . . such as, “I don’t care for him” when the meaning is, “I have no objection to him.” 1993 in 1998Cooper–Cooper Pond Mountain 107 nwNC, Grandpaw’d say, “Who is it Janie, who is it?” Grandmaw’d say, “Aw, Hamp, it’s just Lenny and Dolly.” He’d say, “Well, I don’t care for them, let them come on in.”
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