Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Sep 13 15:54:41 UTC 2002

>I'm writing a piece about the slang term "cooked" - in the sense of
>exhausted, tired out, done in. Can anybody tell me whether it is
>currently much known in North America? (Researching it online is
>more than usually difficult, for obvious reasons.) I've a couple of
>examples, one from the New York Times, the other from the Globe &
>Mail in Toronto, but from context these might equally have the
>sense "be in an inescapably bad situation". Obviously related, but
>no cigar.

I wouldn't recognize it in that sense. I would recognize "I was cooked" as
meaning (1) "I was doomed"/"My goose was cooked" or (2) "I was drunk"
[relatively uncommon usage, I believe; also "I was fried"/"I was
toasted"/etc.]. However, Google search for "I was cooked" turns up several
instances where it seems to mean "I was fatigued"/"I was fagged out" ...
these are in athletic contexts, and the authors are at least sometimes
ostensibly US-ans. Maybe this usage is international in certain sports circles.

If someone said to me, "I had to work like a dog for 16 hours yesterday;
when I got home, I was really cooked!", I would assume "cooked" = "drunk"
and I would perceive this as a non sequitur, or wonder if I had missed his
report of his stop on his way home.

-- Doug Wilson

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