What Does “Dog Tired” Mean?

Discover the origin and meaning of the common idiom 'dog tired', used to describe extreme exhaustion. Learn its usage and synonyms.

Understanding ‘Dog Tired’

Dog tired is a commonly used idiom that refers to being extremely exhausted.

It is often used to describe a state of fatigue that is so intense that the person or animal feels as if they cannot move.

The phrase is believed to have originated in England and has been in use for centuries.

Origins of the Phrase

The phrase “dog tired” is an idiom that has been in use for centuries.

The origin of the phrase is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have come from an ancient tale of Alfred the Great, who used to send his sons out with his widespread kennels of hunting dogs.

Whichever of his sons, be it Athelbrod or Edwin, were able to catch more of the hounds, would be rewarded with a prize.

After a long day of chasing the dogs, the sons would return home completely exhausted, or “dog-tired.”

Is the Phrase “Dog Days of Summer” Related to Dogs Being Tired?

The phrase “dog days of summer” is not related to dogs being tired.

It actually dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when the star Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star,” rose in conjunction with the sun, bringing hot and sultry weather.

So, understanding dog days of summer helps debunk this common misconception.

Modern Usage and Interpretation

Today, the phrase “dog tired” is used to describe a state of extreme exhaustion.

It is often used to describe physical exhaustion, but it can also be used to describe mental exhaustion.

For example, someone who has been studying for hours may say that they are “dog tired.”

Here are three example sentences that use the idiom:

  1. After running a marathon, she was dog tired and could barely walk.
  2. He had been working all day in the hot sun and was dog tired by the time he got home.
  3. The baby had been crying all night, and the parents were dog tired in the morning.

Here are three synonyms for the idiom:

  • Exhausted
  • Worn out
  • Fatigued

Overall, “dog tired” is a common idiom that is used to describe a state of extreme exhaustion.

Its origins are believed to go back centuries and are rooted in a tale about hunting dogs.

Today, the phrase is used in both formal and informal settings and is a useful way to describe how tired someone or something is.