What Does Tuckered Out Mean?

Tuckered Out Meaning

Definition: Completely exhausted; very tired.

Origin of Tuckered Out

This expression first appeared in the early 1800s and originated in New England, making it a phrase of American origin. It might come from the Old English word tuck, meaning tormented.

An early example can be found in a April 1839 issue of the Wisconsin Enquirer,

  • “I reckoned to have got to the tavern by sundown, but I haven’t – as I’m prodigiously tuckered out.”

Rather than simply saying tuckered out, this phrase is often paired with other intensifiers, such as all tuckered out, plumb tuckered out, or in the case of our above example prodigiously tuckered out.

This phrase saw increased popularity in cinematic portrayals of the frontier lifestyle, where actors would use this phrase to imitate the authentic speech patters of people on the frontier during America’s westward expansion.

Examples of Tuckered Out

all tuckered outIn this example, two friends are discussing whether or not they should go dancing.

Cassie: Hey! What are you doing in your pajamas? It’s almost time to go. Do you want to have a drink before we leave for the club?

Rebecca: I’m sorry. I don’t think I’m going to go out tonight.

Cassie: Why not? You have to! We’ve been planning this for ages.

Rebecca: I know. I’m so sorry for cancelling on you. I was working in my mom’s garden all day, and I’m totally tuckered out. I can barely move I’m so tired, let alone dance.

tuckered out originIn the dialogue below, two men are traveling in Korea and saw many tourist attractions in one day.

Antonio: Come on; let’s go to one more museum! We still have a little bit of time left before it closes, and we can easily take the subway.

Igor: Really? We already saw so many places today. We went shopping, we went on a hike up a mountain, saw two separate temples, and we already went to another museum. I don’t think I have the energy to go to one more place.

Igor: Come on! We’ll only be in Korea once!

Antonio: I know, but I’m way too tuckered out. I need to go back to the hotel and sleep for like 12 hours. We did too much in one day, and I’m just too tired to do any more.

More Examples

The article excerpt describes a musician and his weary dog.

  • The 43-year-old singer-guitarist, sinewy and gently graying at the temples, lives in a royal-blue Craftsman with a wide view of Echo Park Lake. The bookcases are stacked with thick references on esoteric spirituality. Photos on the fridge show sweet, fading scenes from an old relationship; a tuckered-out Australian cattle-dog mix plonks itself at his feet. –LA Times

This quote is about two tennis players, one of whom was exhausted.

  • A few weeks shy of her 33rd birthday, making the American the oldest major champion since Navratilova was 33 at Wimbledon in 1990, Williams powered this way and that in her black-and-pink hightops. Wozniacki is the one training for the New York City Marathon, but she was tuckered out by the end. –LA Times

Summary

The idiom tuckered out is an informal way to say totally out of energy.