Saturday, August 8, 2015

I'm Coffeed Out!

I just made the statement, "I'm coffeed out," when my wife asked me if I would like another cup. 

And I suddenly found myself wondering whether this phrase, which I am certain I learned from my late father, might be an idiolectic utterance specific just to my family.

A simple Google search revealed that it's in wide use, Note the following example:

"I'm coffeed out. Would you like a soda, something cold?"
(P. 146, Deja Vu (Sisterhood Novels) by Fern Michaels)

As a linguist, the phrase is quite curious and worthy of discussion.

First off, it seems to have been coined by analogy to "I'm tired out." Or "I'm tuckered out." And so it means, "I am in the state of having drunk so much coffee that I am tired of the stuff and do not want any more of it currently."

 (I add, "currently" because anyone who can drink so much coffee that they get coffeed out will certainly be drinking more of the stuff within another day.)

I am assuming that the phrase "Coffeed Out" is the original coinage. As I reflected on the phrase, it didn't seem to me, at least by personal usage, that it had extended to other beverages. But a Google search showed me to be quite mistaken. Note the following examples.

"Maybe a Rémy, just to cap it off? I mean, I'm wined out; but just, I don't know, a taste of cognac?"
("Balto", p. 9, in Wild Child and Other Stories by T.C. Boyle)

And check out this double treat on the paradigm:

"How's your day at work?" Dan says when he rings me later that afternoon.
 "I'm completely champagned out," I laugh, already battling a headache from drinking far too much in the middle of the day. "Yours?"
"I'm beered out," he says. "Taken out for celebratory drinks at lunchtime.
(P. 57, The Other Woman by Jane Green)

The phrase seems to find its natural boundaries only with beverages one over-drinks to physical detriment. You really would never say "I'm milked out" to mean that you can't drink one more glass of the state beverage from my native Wisconsin.  Nor is anyone "watered out" when they no longer need to hydrate.

Anyway, as I've been writing this, I've been sipping shots of tsuica, a distillation made from plums that we smuggled in our checked luggage from Romania. 

And since I'm now tsuicaed out, I'll close here. And a Google search has revealed that there is about to be only one place on the Internet or published world where the phrase "tsuicaed out" can be found.

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