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Re: Dead on his feet

Posted by ESC on September 10, 1999

In Reply to: Dead on his feet posted by Amelia on September 10, 1999

: What's the origin of this saying. I haven't got a clue albeit I know it means tired to the point where your only option is to go to sleep.

: What's the origin of this saying. I haven't got a clue albeit I know it means tired to the point where your only option is to go to sleep.

According to "A Dictionary of American Idioms" edited by Adam Makkai (Barron's, 1987), dead on one's feet means very tired but still standing or walking; too tired to do more; exhausted."

As to the origin, I'm going to take a guess. Maybe it has to do with a horse dying, but momentarily remaining on its feet. If that's possible.