Is "you look all in" meaning "you look tired" in common usage or out-of-date?

JimSpeace introduced this subject in another thread.

Jim wrote:
‘Oh, my dear, you look all in.
‘I don’t know. I think I must have got a touch of the sun.’

Without the context, I would not understand them. With the context:

‘I don’t think I will today. I don’t feel very well.’ She gave him a look.
‘Oh, my dear, you look all in. What’s the matter with you?’
‘I don’t know. I think I must have got a touch of the sun.’

they make perfect sense. I don’t think these are right or wrong. I think these may be slang. Maybe some writing is not common or slang, but an authors style. W. Somerset Maugham, certainly does have a poetic style while displaying common life situations. I have never heard anyone say “you look all in”. I know that in American English, especially with the younger generation, there is often slang I don’t understand, and it is my native language
— JimSpeace

Reply by brucenator:

“You look all in” meaning “You look tired.” Is this in common usage where you live, or is it old fashioned and out-of-date?

I posed this question to Lou V., Wiltshire, England, age 25, in the SharedTalk English language text chat room. She says it’s old-fashioned. Instead, they say “you look tired” or “you look shattered.”

Lou V. responded:
“People here wouldn’t say that in these times. They would tell you that you look tired or that you look shattered. So it’s definitely old fashioned.”
— Lou V.
The Wiltshire Dialect is considered one of the West Country dialects. Andy Partridge, musician, songwriter, guitar player and lead singer for the group XTC, is an example of a Wiltshire accent.

I am from the Southern Appalachian dialect region of the US and I had never heard “You look all in” in my life. So I asked my mother this question and she says that her aunt, who was born in 1903, used to use this expression all the time.

I also found this English Language and Usage forum post which rings true:
“The term [you look] “all in” meaning [you look] tired was used in the U.S. in the 20th Century from as early as the 30s until maybe the 60s. Just watch any old movie or TV show. It just became out of vogue.”

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“You look all in” is in use in British English and is not uncommon among older people. In my experience Lou V is right to say that it’s almost never used by younger people. You look shattered is much more common. I think both expressions mean quite an active form of tiredness!

I’ve never heard it.

Me either. I’d be more likely to say, “You look beat,” or “you look wiped.”

It would be very Australian to say, “You looked stuffed” or “You look f*cked” if you are given to swearing.

I’ve heard of “you look all in” from reading non-aussie literature. I use “stuffed” all the time, too.

I’m no prude, but the f word grates on my ears. Can’t imagine someone talking to their loved one like that…"Oh sweetie/darling/my dear, you look ******! Yuck.

Neither I but it is pretty common amongst men of a certain type after a hard night of drinking

Huh? :slight_smile: I can “look all in” after staying up all night with a sick child…so I don’t need any drink to look the part, lol.

Last time I was plastered it was 1983…nearly died from alcohol poisoning, so I made a vow to never ever ever do that to myself again! Besides, throwing up & passing out on a public bus, not to mention the ensuing total blindness, fighting to breathe and paralysis isn’t fun…^^