Miller of Dee

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the traditional English folk song, Miller of Dee, in which the eponymous miller sings "I care for nobody, no not I, if nobody cares for me."

Noun[edit]

Miller of Dee (plural Millers of Dee)

  1. (idiomatic) Someone who lives independently and unattached to others, especially for selfish reasons.
    • 1852, Samuel Warren, The Experiences of a Barrister, page 209:
      Mr. Wallace, although fortified with a letter bearing the mitred seal of the Bishop the diocese, feels that he is about to come in contact with a great power; an awful something that is not to be trifled with; one of the noblest institutions of our land, who is a very Miller of Dee, and accountable to nobody.
    • 1920, John Galsworthy, Tatterdemalion, ISBN 1406850519, page 82:
      He was a regular "Miller of Dee," caring for nobody; and yet he was likeable, that humorous old stoic, who suffered from gall-stone, and bore horrible bouts of pain like a hero.
    • 1992, Claire Rayner, The Strand, ISBN 070892669X, page 72:
      "None at all? No parents, no wives, no children of your own?" "Not one, thank God. Miller of Dee, that's me."