Word of the day, 8th March 2015

I have been inexplicably /ˌɪnɪkˈsplɪkəbliː/ extremely tired /tʌɪəd/ this weekend.  I will try to do a bit of catching up tonight.

So the word for today has to be tired /tʌɪəd/.

I realise everyone will obviously already know this word, but perhaps I can clarify its pronunciation and suggest a few synonyms that you might not know.

Firstly, however, I wonder if you know the word inexplicably /ˌɪnɪkˈsplɪkəbliː/ that I used just now?  This is the adverb of inexplicable /ˌɪnɪkˈsplɪkəbəl/ (which can actually be pronounced in subtly different ways: /ɪnɛkˈsplɪkəbəl/ or /ɪnˈɛksplɪkəbəl/ and the final schwa (ə) is hardly sounded).  “inexplicable” means “unable to be explained or accounted for.”  So what I said above is that I have been unable to explain why I have been so tired this weekend!

I have had a number of international friends who struggle with the pronunciation of “tired“.

Most often they pronounce it /tɪəd/, as in the word “tiered” which refers to something having a series of rows of levels placed one about the other
– for example, “a tiered wedding cake” or a “tiered organisational structure“.

The verb to “tire” /tʌɪə/ is pronounced identically to the noun “tyre” /tʌɪə/ (in most common usage, this refers to the rubber part of a wheel).

Add a ‘d’ sound on the end and you have “tired” /tʌɪəd/

Here are some other words (synonyms) or expressions (meaning “tired” in the sense of feeling like you need sleep, rather than any other meaning, which I won’t talk about here).

I will leave you to look up the words that interest you.

  • sleepy /ˈsliːpi/
  • exhausted /ɪɡˈzɔːstɪd/ or /ɛkˈzɔːstɪd/
  • worn out
  • burned out
  • weary /ˈwɪəri/
  • drained /dreɪnd/
  • faint /feɪnt/
  • fatigued /fəˈtiːɡd/
  • finished /ˈfɪnɪʃt/
  • shattered /ˈʃatəd/ – Informal(!)
  • knackered /ˈnakəd/ – Slang! I don’t recommend the use of this word, but I feel I have to mention it since you may still hear it occasionally and wonder what it means.  It is the least polite term listed here.  It comes from knacker /ˈnakə/, which was “an old, sick, or useless farm animal, especially a horse“.
  • beat /biːt/ – informal (possibly more American)
  • spent /spɛnt/ – slightly old-fashioned, perhaps.
  • all in – also slightly old-fashioned I think.
  • dead on one’s feet – informal(!)  “I’m dead on my feet
  • asleep on one’s feet – informal(!)
  • wasted /ˈweɪstɪd/ – informal(!)
  • dog-tired – informal(!)
  • done for – informal
  • done in – informal
  • drowsy /ˈdraʊzi/
  • half asleep – “I can’t think anymore, I’m half asleep…
  • run-down

If you think of others, you can add your own comments.

Sleep well! 🙂

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