I am sufficiently sophonsified / suffonsified

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dimcl, May 30, 2008.

  1. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    << I am sufficiently sophonsified / suffonsified >>

    This is a colloquialism meaning "I've had enough to eat, thank you". The word "sophonsified" cannot be found in any dictionary, yet it has been around Canada for a very long time.

    Does anyone from outside of Canada knows this phrase or is it strictly Canadian?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2014
  2. Wow!

    I can't wait to hear more about this one.

  3. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU


    Never choked on that one before, Dimcl.
  4. rainbow84uk Senior Member

    English, UK
    Haha what a great sound this has! Never heard it before in my life...
  5. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    I've never heard it either.

    Sounds like a mix of "sufficiently sufficed" and "satisfied".
  6. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    It rings a bell with me, Dimcl.

    But I did live in Canada for two years... ;)
  7. Mopsus New Member

    English - United States
    To answer your question, I've spent fifty-odd years speaking U.S. English, even grew up in the northern part of the country, but I've never heard or read "sophonsified." I love the faux Greek sound of this word, and am immediately adding it to my vocabulary. My guess it's it's uniquely Canadian.
  8. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi Senior Member

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    The English half of my family has used it since at the least the early 80's, usually at Christmas dinners. I've never heard anyone else use it, though, so I'd always assumed that it was a family invention.

    Now I know better.
  9. Mopsus New Member

    English - United States
    Oops! I stand corrected already: a friend from Virginia says the expression is quite familiar ("homespun" was her word) to her.
  10. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Never heard it in my life, Dimcl ~ great word, though!
    BUT: my Very Posh Grandmother, who was Canadian (English-speaking, from Montreal) always used to insist that when my siblings and I had had enough to eat at the table we say I've had an ample sufficiency, thankyou (rather than the more usual I'm stuffed) ~ it was a family joke ~ still is, in fact.
    cf. Cuchie in post #3
  11. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    Similarly, I know the phrase "to have had an elegant sufficiency". This faux gentility seems very much in keeping with the sentiment expressed by sophonsified, but I have never heard this word before in my life.
  12. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Wow, and I thought ample sufficiency was elegant!
  13. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Thanks for everyone's comments. I forgot to mention that another way of saying "I'm stuffed" is to say "My sufficiency has been sophonsified". I've been doing some more surfing, trying to figure out the origins and came across this site where it mentions that the word "serrancified" probably meant the same thing in Virginia/North Carolina. Perhaps that's the word that Mopsus' friend in Virginia recalls.

    Thanks again to everybody. In the absence of any information to the contrary, I'll assume that it's a true Canadian saying.
  14. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi Senior Member

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    I'd forgotten all about that one ..... my grandfather (who grew up in Colchester, not Canada) used to say it, tongue-in-cheek, usually after my uncle announced to all that he was sufficiently sophonsified.
  15. blueliner New Member

    english -us
    In 1976, a friend and I created the word from " sophisticated " and "satisfied" in a restaurant in Winnepeg ( Hy's ) ....we pledged to use it often and whenever we could. In my life, very few people challanged the word ( which was the point of creating it ), and my friend went on using it in Canada, as I do in the US.
  16. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    There is a reference to the word in Google Books from Carl Sandburg's "Always the Young Strangers", published in 1953. I'm afraid it's a bit older than 1976.

    [edit] Here's an interesting citation on the phenomenon. I don't have full access to the article. Perhaps someone else does.

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  17. blueliner New Member

    english -us
    perhaps you referance " surancified " .....any footnotes to your aforementioned Sandberg book ?
  18. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    You've lost me, blueliner:(
    What does "surancified" have to do with the subject of this thread?
  19. blueliner New Member

    english -us
    surancified is the word referenced as the near equivelent of sophonsified....what is the Sandberg word ?
  20. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    It took a little digging, but I found a preview option on Amazon that showed me this excerpt:

    Always the Young Strangers, p. 229

    At first I let it pass and then worked out an answer, "Having had a sufficiency I sure am suffonsified and I'm ready to sigashiate."
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  21. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    He was referring to the article I provided a link to. I should have provided an excerpt.

    From "American Speech", Vol. 55, No. 4 (Winter, 1980), pp. 295-297, an article by Frederic G. Cassidy entitled, "Among The Old Words":

    A common pattern is "My sufficiency is fully surancified; any more would be obnoxious to my fastidious taste." Obviously, the original, serious formula has become inflated; it is on the way to jocular, even satiric, exaggeration. Our attitude toward "verbal elegance" has changed: one does not say that sort of thing nowadays unless in humorous mockery. Surancified, at the center of the new formula, is clearly intended to be impressive and a bit mysterious.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  22. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Erm ... sigashiate, James? What could that be?
  23. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    Speak with sagashity? :)
  24. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Eat a cigar? Ooh! that's a point: end of meal, have a cigar:)
  25. blueliner New Member

    english -us
    Perhaps my friend & I were drinking like Hemingway ( we were ) and unconsiously pulled it up...your digging was appreciated
  26. groovis4 New Member

    I seriously don't want to burst your bubble, however, I was born in 1962 and my father has been using that particular expression since I was very, very young. Well before 1976 when I was 14 yrs old.

    I don't lay claim to know the origin of the expression either, but clearly it was around prior to your restaurant session. Not saying you didn't come up with it at that time, just saying it was around prior to that particular day. :D
  27. dunescratcheur Senior Member

    France 30
    France, English
    Have just been idly Googling (is there any other way?) and came across this

    "*We asked Fay the meaning of “sufficiently sophonsified.” She wrote: “It’s a Canadian word/saying. In context, it means “full,” like if someone offers you more food and you’re stuffed already, you couldn’t take another bite. You say you’re ’sufficiently sophonsofied.’”



    As a fairly well-travelled threadbare BE speaker I have never, ever heard this said.
  28. Mellko New Member

    I am Canadian and I learned an expression when I was 16... My sufficiency is suffonsified and any more would be superfluous to my capacity!

    I've always loved the expression as it is a classic example of how to stretch a two (okay, maybe two and a half) word phrase (I'm full.) into a 13 word phrase! It generally gets a few odd looks to boot, and that is always fun! However, I've been challenged several times on the word suffonsified. Many scholarly folk tell me there is no such word. Bah, too bad; I like the word and am quite delighted to hear here that it may even be uniquely Canadian! Most excellent eh! :)
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  29. lasimpson New Member

    My family has always said (with humor)

    'I am sufficiently suffonsified, any more would be obnoxious!'
  30. rainexpress New Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Chinese - Mandarin
    I live in Canada and had never heard of the expression until I read Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (who is, if you don't know, a Canadian writer). It'll be cool to use it on other people colloquially and just see them freak out! =D
  31. grammabertie New Member

    The other day I was thinking about the 'sufficiently sophonsified' thing that my grandmother used to say, so I went to the internet, typed it in and much to my surprise found all these different posts. My grandmother was from Forest, Ontario. I am 71 years old, and I remember her saying this from the time I was about 5 or 6; she would have been in her late 60's then. Here is her rendition. 'My sufficiency is quite sophonsified, to indulge in any more would be superstackabonius. I'll leave it to you to figure out the correct spelling of that last word, if there even be such a word. You know how Bill O'Reilly likes to end his broadcasts with a big word that we don't ordinarily use? I thought it would be fun to send this to him to see what he would do with it?
  32. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Welcome to the forum, granmmabertie.:)

    I think that this thread has established that this phrase (in a number of different permutations) is unquestionably Canadian. Apparently someone also found a link pertaining to Virginia (or somewhere in the U.S. - I forget) but many Canadians seem to know of it and nobody else does (although many of the forum members seem to like it). As to its origins... who knows?
  33. ordychief New Member

    My Father used to tell me that he was sufficiently suffonsified back in the 1950's. He was from upstate New York, therefor, I would go with the Canadian origin. Dave
  34. wblake New Member

    I first heard this term in the mid 1960's from my Grandmother in Stratford Ontario. When I asked about it, she got it from her Mother. My Aunt also said in the early Seventies that the term was common in either Branksome or Bishop Strachan schools in Toronto during the War.
  35. WordyBirdy New Member

    English - Newfie
    The idea of it being earlier than 1960 agrees with my experience. Growing up in Newfoundland, my dad would say, " I am sufficiently ceroncified, to consume anymore would be obnoxious to my palate" after a big meal. I'm not sure of the spelling of course, and the pronunciation may have some variations
  36. OpaPlano New Member


    My Dad, who was Canadian, used this phrase all of his life -

    "I am sufficiently sophonsified, any more would be a superfluency" - which we all knew meant that he had enough to eat and was actually "stuffed".

    He was born around the turn of the century so that phrase is at least that old.
  37. lorilar New Member

    Looks like this thread is pretty old, but thought I'd share anyway... I recently decided to check google for a silly expression I remember from my childhood days... the search brought me to this blog post.
    The expression I was looking for goes like this:
    "I am sufficiently suffancified from my conigidy to my conogidy and anymore would be superfluidy".
    I remember well my friend's dad pushing back from the table and saying this. He was a dairy farmer and had a lot of silly old time expressions that he said were passed down from the old days.
    That was like 30 years ago.
  38. slocaguy New Member

    My grandfather grew up in mid-Michigan. He was of Anglo-Irish descent. After every holiday meal he would proclaim "my sufficiency is suffancified. I have stuffed my guts amazingly!" I first heard this in the late 1950s. We understood that the 'stuffed my guts' ending was juxtaposed to the faux sophisticated 'sufficiency is suffancified' beginning.

    I never saw the expression written but I've spelled it the way the family pronounced it.
  39. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    If I may rain on a parade without offence: I see all of these inventions and circumlocutions, although passingly interesting, as genteel, dated and ultimately failed, attempts at light humour. The fact that the neologisms never made it to mainstream is judgement enough on their quality.
  40. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Never 'eard of it. File alongside John Cleese's supposedly "rare" (and it certainly sounded rare to me) "esurient", which means the opposite. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  41. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I think the met office would classify that as a downpour :D
  42. Pertinax

    Pertinax Senior Member

    Queensland, Aust
    If I understand it correctly, "suffonsified" means "completely satisfied".

    The word not only sounds quite grand, but could be quite useful: it's a step beyond being merely satisfied with something. It would be nice to suffonsify one's teacher, not merely satisfy him. Is there also an adjective, matching "satisfactory"?

    "suffonsified" is not in the OED, but it does score 3 hits in Google books, and 18700 hits generally.
  43. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In our Jewish-American family the word would never have existed. Food was always put our in such abundance that the only reason you would not be satisfied was if your arms were too weak to avail yourself of the food. And if that were the case, my Mom would be standing over you with the serving platter offering you more to eat.

    I am fairly certain that when eating at any family member's home the question, "Did you have enough to eat?" was never raised; would never be raised and had never been raised in the past.

    In my entire life I would only need that word when eating in a hoity toity high fashion restaurant that served food with elegant insufficiency at outlandish prices.

    (I did eat in one such establishment about 20 years ago in Chicago. It cost $275.00 plus the tip for the three of us, and when I got back to the hotel I raided the concessionaire for candy bars to tide me over until breakfast.)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  44. Embonpoint Senior Member

    I've lived in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, California and Washington state--and this expression has completely passed me by. But I like it. I can't wait to invite some Canadians to dinner and overfeed them.
  45. lorilar New Member

    I forgot to mention that the dairy farmer was a Finnish man in a small town near Vancouver, Washington. Northern enough to support the possible Canadian influence. They also had family and friends from Canada.
  46. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    This particular met office would classify it as 'an extremely wet blanket':)
  47. BKKCanuck New Member

    English - Canadian
    I'm so excited to find this forum and discover that my mom's not the only person who has been using this expression!

    Ever since I can remember, and after almost every meal, my mom has said. "My sufficiency is fully suffonsified and anymore would be obnoxious to my fastidious taste!"

    When asked where she got the expression from, she said that it is what her mother said after large meals.

    My mom was born in Victoria Canada in 1942, her mother was born in Victoria Canada in 1910 and her parents had come from Ontario, Canada before that.

    It's comforting to know that there are other families out there who use this expression, even if we haven't quite solved the mystery of the origin of the word "suffonsified"!!
  48. aquamaureen New Member

    English - Canada

    Both my husband I are in our mid-sixties and remember our fathers using this expression as far back as the 50's. They were both born in Ontario in the early part of the 20th century but eventually migrated to western Canada.
  49. aquamaureen New Member

    English - Canada
    Strange how some people are willing to take credit even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. My husband's father and my father were both using this expression long before blueliner was born.
  50. Quizative New Member

    I first encountered this phrase in 1986 when I worked in Toronto. I absolutely loved this phrase the first time I heard it. I come from a "word" family raised by two English parents (my Mother spoke the Queen's English and was always correcting me on usage), and one of my Sisters became a teacher and was also all about English. So when I first came home with this phrase they told me there was not such thing as sophonsified. Back then there was not such thing as Google either, so I wasn't able to find any reference (limited access and all) to this phrase or word. Well here I am 26 years later and I am watching a TV program and doesn't one of the participants use that very phrase. Though I have used it often over the years I had given up looking for it's meaning because I'd never heard it used by anyone else. However, tonight, I hear the phrase and I am sitting in front of my computer so I Google it. Low and behold what do I find . . . it DOES exsist and you tell me it is a "Canadian" word. I will tell my Mother and my Sister that although it does not fall into the Queen's English, it probably does fall into the Queen's Canadian :). Thanks for helping me discover the answer to a 26 year mystery!

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