What does next to nothing mean?
a very small amount
Examples of this Idiom in Movies & TV Shows:
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” (1994)
Time of Scene:
Will Smith: You know what? Actually, this works out better for me, you know. The slimmies of summer come to class wearing next to nothing, you know what I’m saying.
Philip Banks: Will, it’s all right to be angry.
Will Smith: Hey, why should I be mad? At least he said goodbye this time. I just wish I hadn’t wasted my money buying this stupid present.
Philip Banks: I’m sorry. You know, if there was something that…
Will Smith: You know what, you ain’t got to do nothing, Uncle Phil. Ain’t like I’m still five years old, you know. Ain’t like I’ma be sitting up every night asking my mom, “When’s Daddy coming home?”, you know. Who needs him? Hey, he wasn’t there to teach me how to shoot my first basket, but I learned, didn’t I? And I got pretty damn good at it too, didn’t I, Uncle Phil?
Philip Banks: Yeah, you did.
Will Smith: Got through my first date without him, right? I learned how to drive, I learned how to shave, I learned how to fight without him. I had fourteen great birthdays without him. He never even sent me a damn card! To hell with him! I ain’t need him then and I don’t need him now.
Philip Banks: Will…
Will Smith: No, you know what, Uncle Phil? I’ma get through college without him, I’ma get a great job without him, I’ma marry me a beautiful honey, and I’ma have me a whole bunch of kids. I’ll be a better father than he ever was, and I sure as hell don’t need him for that, ’cause ain’t a damn thing he could ever teach me about how to love my kids! How come he don’t want me, man?
Arrested Development “Shock and Aww” (2004)
Time of Scene:
Lucille Bluth: Michael, the little Korean is here, and I don’t know what to do with him. At least I think it’s a him. You’ve got to strip them down to next to nothing before you could even tell.
Michael Bluth: Yeah. Mom, I just spoke to Social Services and, although they don’t like to do this, if you can prove that it’s a bad environment for a child – and I would suggest saying what you just said to me, don’t change a word. They will take him back.
The Miracle Worker (1962)
Time of Scene:
Captain Arthur Keller: What would another week accomplish? We are more than satisfied. You taught her things to do, how to behave. She’s more manageable, cleaner.
Annie Sullivan: Cleaner?
Captain Arthur Keller: Well, we say cleanliness is next to godliness.
Annie Sullivan: Cleanliness is next to nothing! Give me more time with her.
Captain Arthur Keller: Look, what’s she spelling? Teaching a dog to spell? The dog doesn’t know what she means any more than she knows what you mean, Miss Sullivan. I think you ask too much of her and yourself. God may not have meant Helen to have the eyes you speak of.
Annie Sullivan: I mean her to.
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