Word of the day: Harry Pottered out

I spent last Friday and Saturday in Bologna, Italy, where I was talking at an excellent conference for English-language teachers. In one of the talks that I saw, a teacher was describing a one-week summer school course for kids that she’d helped organise. The week had been based around the Harry Potter books, so kids had made their own costumes, acted out various scenes and so on. “By the end of the five days“, she said, “I was totally Harry Pottered out!” In other words, she’d had enough of Harry Potter. She was sick and tired of the books, totally fed up with the story lines and ready for a change!

Now, obviously, Harry Pottered out isn’t really our word of the day; rather, it’s actually an example of a common way in which we can change almost any noun into an adjective in order to show we’re bored of something and have reached our limit with it. I did Google the word and found there are actually already 367 examples on the Web, so it wasn’t a completely new creation – but it might as well have been.

Other recent examples I’ve heard of this construction include a sentence I heard during the coffee break before the final session in Bologna, by which point energy levels were dropping and most people were ready to go home. “I don’t know about you,” one teacher asked me, “but I’m well and truly conferenced out!” It’s a feeling I know all too well.

The transfer window – the time during which football clubs can buy and sell new players – closed at the end of August, and I was delighted that my own team, Arsenal, managed to buy a few reinforcements to help with the coming season. However, given the way that newspapers use this time to boost their circulation by spreading endless gossip and rumours around, I was also, like many other football fans, completely transfer windowed out and desperate for it to end!

Other recent examples I’ve come across include:

I’m totally yoga-ed out. I think I need to take a bit of a break from it for a while.

I’m all Succession-ed out. I must’ve watched two whole seasons back to back this weekend.

All we seem to do in my Spanish class is look at verb endings. I’m starting to get a bit grammar-ed out.

You get the idea. Now, there’s no reason why this kind of creativity should be left only to native speakers. Non-natives are free to come up with new and inventive examples using their own ideas and experiences. Indeed, during a recent trip to Kazakhstan, which isn’t the easiest country to be a vegetarian in, I was told over dinner one day by one of German speakers at the event I was talking at that they “were all manti-ed out“. Manti are a kind of dumpling, and pumpkin anti were often the only things on the menu that didn’t contain any meat or fish.

  • Have you ever felt all conferenced out? Or Harry Pottered out? Or transfer windowed out? When? Why?
  • Can you think of any other things you got really fed up with and felt that you’d had enough of? Why?

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