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I just watched a TV show and the guy says:

I ain't trying to fight with nobody with a baby.

So here, I can't understand the "nobody" since it make no sense to me, but it sounds like anybody, and if it's "I ain't trying to fight with anybody with a baby." that makes sense to me.

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Informal English sometimes uses what's called a "double negative" for emphasis, putting words like "ain't" and "nobody" together to reinforce how strong the negative is. ("Negative concord" is a more precise, but much less common, term for this.) Here, the quoted character is strongly protesting how little he desires to fight someone with a baby — this would be much less emphatic if he'd just said "I ain't trying to fight with anybody with a baby."

  • So both of them make the same sense, but the degree are different – Jiehong Jiang Jan 20 '16 at 18:13
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    @JiehongJiang -- The "ain't" marks the dialog as being in a dialect where using "nobody" (in this context) is more correct than using "anybody". It also marks the statement as not being Standard English. – Jasper Jan 20 '16 at 18:15
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    Very good point by @Jasper. If one is going to use the nonstandard ain't, the sentence would be weird with anybody but it's natural with nobody. – GoDucks Jan 20 '16 at 18:45
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    @GoDucks: It's not so much that it's unnatural, but that it's a considerably weaker statement. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 20 '16 at 18:48
  • @Nathan I disagree or I wouldn't have said what I said. – GoDucks Jan 20 '16 at 18:52

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