Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The chinese character 膩 (nì) is often used to describe when you are sick of something because it's too excessive in some way.

Google translate converts it to "greasy" which is true in the sense that yes, if you eat too much greasy food you get sick of it, but it's not just restricted to oily stuff. If you have a giant steak but there are no accompanying vegetables, then you may not be able to eat much of the steak because all that meat is too "nì."

The concept can be used outside of eating as well. For example, if you play the same game for several hours every single day you may exhaust your interest in it because you've played it to the point where it is now "nì."

I know such a word exists in English because I remember coming across something with a very similar meaning on dictionary.com, but it seemed to be a rather obscure word that I've never seen used in everyday English, and I neglected to write down the word, so I've completely forgotten.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

share|improve this question
    
Sanjiu, Western languages use upper case letters in the first word after a full stop or exclamation point. Also please uppercase the i in I, I'm and I've –  mplungjan Sep 13 '13 at 8:28
3  
Knights Who Say Ni –  mplungjan Sep 13 '13 at 8:33
1  
@mplungjan capitalize –  hunter2 Sep 13 '13 at 8:44
    
Right. Thanks.... –  mplungjan Sep 13 '13 at 9:31
    
While maybe not encapsulated in a single word in English (at least not a common one - I had never heard "cloy" before and its synonyms have positive connotations), it's well know concept: "He said 'The world is funny, and people are strange, And man is a creature of constant change, and After you've been havin' steak for a long time Beans, beans taste fine.'" ~Shel Silverstein –  Patrick M Sep 13 '13 at 14:16
show 3 more comments

12 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

you mean sated or surfeited?

sated

surfeit

or cloyed

satiate

share|improve this answer
4  
"sated" and "satiate" have positive meanings, but 膩 is negative. I think "cloyed" is a better match than "surfeit" but again, you're not necessarily sick of something because you've done too much of it. Imagine eating a hamburger that was just the bread and meat. No lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or sauce. You would only be able to manage a couple of bites before becoming sick of it not because you ate too much of the hamburger, but simply because that dryness is too overwhelming. –  sanjiu Sep 13 '13 at 8:57
2  
‘Cloyed’ is usually the word that comes closest to 腻 when speaking of food. I don't think there is a word for the hamburger situation, but when something is too sweet, rich, greasy, fatty, etc., ‘cloy’ is the most natural word. In my experience, 腻 most often implies these things as well, rather than the food being overly dry. If you're talking about actions, ‘sick and tired of’ is a good translation for 腻死了. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 13 '13 at 11:47
1  
Also, I disagree with sanjiu that 腻 does not have to be about overindulgence. The definition of what overindulgence is, is partaking of/doing something to a degree where it is no longer pleasurable. If we're talking about water, obviously it takes quite a while before you reach that stage; but dry biscuits with no water will get you there very quickly. It is not a matter of one not being overindulgent, but rather how much of something it takes to overindulge. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 13 '13 at 12:35
    
@JanusBahsJacquet He said it wasn't that you actually eat the steak. You eat very little because it's too much. So you both agree. Overindulge is not the right word. –  Lee Louviere Sep 13 '13 at 16:52
add comment

These are not exact English equivalents, but they are often what's used informally by English speakers:

  • sick (I am sick of eating this)
  • tired (I am tired of eating this)
  • Also see sick and tired
  • fed up (I am fed up with eating this)

These are not exact equivalents because they are not restricted to overindulgence, they can be used with unpleasant experiences too. However English speakers tend to use these phrases to describe the feeling of 膩.

share|improve this answer
1  
"fed up" usually refers to another person, I think, as compared to the others which are common with a person, thing, or activity –  Izkata Sep 13 '13 at 17:03
    
thanks for using words that people will actually use.... –  user3306356 Mar 27 at 9:05
add comment

Perhaps the phrase you are looking for is ad nauseam:-

to a sickening or excessive degree

as in

we had steak ad nauseam

While this isn't in the strictest sense English, it is common enough that most people would know what you meant.

share|improve this answer
    
How do you use the phrase "ad nauseam"? Does it have a part of speech? Do you just add it to the end of the sentence that describes what you're sick of? Can I say something like, "Because there are no vegetables, this meat dish is ad nauseam"? –  sanjiu Sep 13 '13 at 9:01
    
@sanjiu Not really. I'm not quite sure about the part of speech, either. You could use it if you were to re-write your sentence: There is meat ad nauseam, because there are no vegetables. –  Brian Hooper Sep 13 '13 at 9:18
4  
I think adjectival phrase is the best way to describe ad nauseam. I'm not sure it can be used in all the contexts a normal adjectival can, but it definitely modifies nouns (meat ad nauseam) and actions (we rode roller coasters ad nauseam) but can't be used as a direct object (*this meat dish is ad nauseam). So. –  Zack Sep 14 '13 at 2:57
add comment

to surfeit

In particular meaning number 9 on that page:

to indulge to excess in anything

As found in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night":

If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.

share|improve this answer
    
For "nì" you would then go with "surfeiting"? –  skymninge Sep 13 '13 at 8:21
    
I would say meaning #4 is more relevant: general disgust caused by excess or satiety. –  mplungjan Sep 13 '13 at 8:31
    
"surfeit" seems to be when you're sick because you've eaten too much, but 膩 doesn't necessarily have to be overindulgence. If you just eat a couple of cookies but there's no milk, you will quickly grow tired of the cookies. It's not that you ate too many cookies, it's that the dryness is excessive. –  sanjiu Sep 13 '13 at 8:53
add comment

When I have had too much coffee I am coffeed-out. Not very elegant and may be regional (California?).

share|improve this answer
    
In the UK, obviously, we're more likely to be tea-ed out, but definitely the format is used cisatlantic. As opposed to teed off (irritated), which I've always assumed was short for ticked off. –  FumbleFingers Sep 13 '13 at 16:45
add comment

How about 'Burned out'? This usually implies simply tired, not necessarily sick. Or, similarly 'fried' or 'brain fried'. Then there is 'fed up'. Only single word is 'fried', sorry. Or there is 膩煩 which translates as 'loath', 'bored', 'sick and tired', or 'fed up' with.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The word gorged conveys the notion of having eaten to excess in a disgusting or off-putting manner (i.e. a person who is shoveling food into their mouth is gorging himself). I've only rarely heard it applied to things other than food, though.

Another possibility is binge, which refers to a period of overindulgence with negative connotations. This is often used with food, perhaps most notably in terms of "binge drinking" (consuming a massive amount of alcohol in a short period of time), but you also hear people talk about other kinds of binges. For example, staying up all night to watch a Doctor Who marathon could be described as a "Doctor Who binge".

share|improve this answer
add comment

This is somewhat colloquial, but how about "fatigue"?

Let's have chicken tonight, I have steak-fatigue

share|improve this answer
add comment

Engorged, stuffed, and full are the closest I can think of that.

Like someone else said satiated means full to satisfaction, but doesn't have the negative sense.

Engorge definitely means you overate. Sometimes it's used in a simile such as "engorged like a tick" to give an extra repulsive punch to it.

share|improve this answer
    
Problem is that the person may not be full. Think of going out to movies, and the gf/wife wants another chick-flick, and you go, "Not another one!!!" You may still be hungry, but all that's left is mash-potatoes, and you've had that for days. –  Lee Louviere Sep 13 '13 at 16:48
add comment

Surprised nobody mentioned blasé or jaded.

share|improve this answer
    
blasé is exactly the right word, but a brief definition ("apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment") might have made this answer more useful. –  nohat Dec 11 '13 at 3:00
add comment

Not a pretty word, but oversated fits your requirements.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It might be a colloquialism, but where I'm from, we use the verb "founder" to mean "consumption until illness". As in, "My dog ate so much, she foundered."

share|improve this answer
2  
Is this a localized usage? I've never heard founder used as a verb before. –  ghoppe Sep 13 '13 at 15:36
    
I'm from Eastern Kentucky, in the USA. It's a word I grew up with. I'm not sure if I've ever heard it used outside of that region. –  Jim Green Sep 13 '13 at 15:53
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.