Neither Do I: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 22, 2023
The idiom "Neither do I" is an English phrase often used to express agreement with a negative statement. In essence, when a person uses this idiom, they are implying that they share the same stance or view as someone else who has just made a negative assertion. This idiom can be used in casual conversation and in a formal written context.

In short:

"Neither do I" is used to agree with a negative statement made by another person.

What Does "Neither Do I" Mean?

The idiomatic expression "Neither do I" has a very specific usage in the English language. Let's break it down and delve deeper into its meaning and variations. Although "Neither do I" is the most common form, a few variations and related expressions convey a similar meaning. Expressions such as "Me neither" and "Nor do I" are often used interchangeably.

  • It expresses concurrence with a previously stated negative sentiment.
  • It's a softer, more polite way of asserting a shared view, especially when the subject matter is negative or potentially controversial.

Where Does "Neither Do I" Come From?

The idiom "Neither do I" has been part of English vocabulary for centuries. Despite this, pinpointing an exact origin point can be difficult, which is the case with many idioms and phrases. They often evolve naturally over time, their use becoming more and more frequent until they are deeply embedded in common language usage. The word "neither" itself can be traced back to Old English, where it was written as "nawther," a contraction of "nahwæther," which meant "not either." However, the construction of the phrase "Neither do I" in its current form is found in writings from the late Middle Ages and onwards.

Historical Example

"If he will not walke, neither will I."

-"The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare, late 16th century.

10 Examples of "Neither Do I" in Sentences

Here are ten examples of "Neither do I" used in various contexts:

  • When my friends asked if I enjoyed spicy food, I replied, Neither do I. They laughed and said, Well, you're the salt of the earth, always keeping things mild and pleasant.
  • He doesn't want to go to the party, and neither do I.
  • She doesn't believe in ghosts, neither do I.
  • I don't think she plans on attending the event anytime soon, and neither do I.
  • I heard John doesn't trust the new manager. Neither do I.
  • I don't think it will rain today, and neither will you, right?
  • Don't you think that was a good movie? Neither do I.
  • Samantha told me she didn't know how to organize the event, and I realized that neither did I. So, I asked our experienced colleague, Jackie, to take the reins and guide us through the process.
  • After Susan told me she couldn't attend the party, Jane said, " Neither do I. Their help with setting up the decorations earlier that day was much appreciated, though.
  • If you don't want to join the gym, neither do I.

Examples of "Neither do I" in Pop Culture

"Neither do I" is a common idiom in everyday language and frequently appears in popular culture.

Here are eight examples of its usage:

  • In the TV series "Breaking Bad," Jesse Pinkman once remarks, "Walter doesn't trust you, neither do I."
  • In "The Avengers" movie, Thor says, "Loki doesn't understand human emotions, neither do I."
  • The popular band Imagine Dragons used the phrase in their song "Nothing Left To Say": "You don't wanna talk, neither do I."
  • In the TV series "Game of Thrones," Jon Snow asserts, "You don't trust the Lannisters, neither do I."
  • In "The Matrix" movie, Neo says, "I don't believe in fate, neither do you."
  • The phrase is also seen in the book "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," where Hermione Granger says, "You don't like Umbridge, neither do I."

Other Ways to Say "Neither Do I"

There are several ways to express a similar sentiment to "Neither do I."

Some of these include:

  • You don't like olives? I don't, either.
  • He doesn't enjoy skiing, and I don't as well.
  • They don't want to leave early, and I feel the same way.
  • She doesn't believe in superstitions, and I'm of the same opinion.
  • You don't like to travel? I'm not a fan, either.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “Neither Do I”:

  • What is the meaning of "Neither do I"?

It is used to agree with a negative statement.

  • Where does "Neither do I" come from?

The exact origins are unclear, but it's believed to be derived from older English usage.

  • How is "Neither do I" used in a sentence?

It is used after someone makes a negative statement, to express agreement.

  • Can "Neither do I" be used in a positive context?

No, it's used exclusively in negative contexts.

  • What is another way to say "Neither do I"?

You can say "I don't either", "Me neither", or "Nor do I".

  • Is "Neither do I" formal or informal?

It can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

  • Can "Neither do I" be used with all subjects (e.g., he, she, they)?

Yes, it can be used with all subjects by adjusting the auxiliary verb accordingly (e.g., Neither does he, Neither do they).

  • Is "Neither do I" an idiom?

Yes, it is an idiom because its meaning can't be understood from the individual words.

  • What is the role of "neither" in the phrase "Neither do I"?

"Neither" is used to express negation and is essential to the meaning of the phrase.

  • Does "Neither do I" have the same meaning as "Me neither"?
    Yes, "Me neither" is a more informal way of saying "Neither do I."

Final Thoughts About “Neither Do I”

Understanding the idiom "Neither do I" can greatly enhance your communication skills, both in writing and speech. It allows for a subtle and polite way of expressing agreement with a negative statement. Despite its negative connotation, it often fosters camaraderie and mutual understanding between individuals.

  • It's a common idiom that expresses agreement with a negative sentiment.
  • It can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
  • Alternative expressions include "I don't either," "Me neither," and "Nor do I."

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