I'm completely knackered

Dimme

Senior Member
Greek
Hello. I'm just wondering if this is right:Let's say I'm returning home after a hard working day. Can I say instead of "I'm exhausted", "I'm completely knackered"? Thank you.
 
  • Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    "Knackering" is what happens to old horses, to make them into cat food and glue (in the UK, at least).

    At the end of a hard day's work, one may well feel like such a horse, so we (in the UK) have adopted this expression. Use it freely.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    You could, but many AE speakers won't understand it. It's what an AE dictionary would label "chiefly British" or such.
    edit added


    Quite a few AE speakers would understand it with no difficulty. Even those unfamiliar with the term might be able to figure out the intention from context, expression, body language, etc.

    A quick look at a few AE dictionaries finds some support for the idea that this is not an unknown word in AE:
    very tired [Princeton WordNet- no mention of UK or BE usage]
    Chiefly British
    Very tired; exhausted.
    Amer. Heritage

    British Slang. exhausted; very tired:
    Random House Unabridged
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Quite a few AE speakers would understand it with no difficulty. Even those unfamiliar with the term might be able to figure out the intention from context, expression, body language, etc.

    You are entirely correct. It should have said that "many" or "most" AE speakers are not familiar with it.

    An exhausted sigh and a weary demeanor would be enough to communicate the meaning, but this would hardly lead me to use this phrase in the USA or when addressing AE speakers.

    Edit: I suggested that this idiom is chiefly British.

    Not all dictionaries, such as Random House and Merriam-Webster, are as generous, labeling it as British.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Also "I'm cream-crackered" in Cockney rhyming slang.

    A cream-cracker, for those who don't know is a kind of savoury biscuit often eaten with cheese.
     
    Top