I came across the phrase "I've gotten over [tool] recently" in an article written by someone who had tested the tool. From the article's context, it seemed that the author was not particularly fond of the tool and that therefore the phrase means something like "I stopped using [tool] recently". Is that correct, or is there another meaning behind the phrase?

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    Am I the only person who read the title of this question and thought "That's not a very nice thing to say about your ex"? – MT_Head Jul 14 '11 at 17:57
  • @MT_Head: no. In fact, I really didn't understand what this was about at all until I read the answers (Ohhhh... X is software!) Really irritated me at first, but I got over it. – Shog9 Jul 14 '11 at 22:12

Without further context and using only the fact that the author was not particularly fond of the tool, it could mean one of the following.

(1) He liked it very much in the past but dislikes it now.

(2) He found it difficult to use but has mastered it now.

(3) He had a bad time using it but is not troubled by it now.

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    The latter suggestion akin to "getting over a problem" is very unlikely. – MrHen Jul 6 '11 at 19:24
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    This is completely wrong. For native English speakers, it is an extremely well-known and established figure of speech, which simply means "the initial wild attraction is over." Logos explains it. – Fattie Jul 6 '11 at 21:18
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    @Joe Blow: There must be a slightly less abrasive way to say that. – Kosmonaut Jul 8 '11 at 12:57
  • @Kosmo -- there might be the first or second time you say it ;-) – Fattie Jul 8 '11 at 13:01
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    @Joe Blow you really need to tone down your comments. I see more flags for your comments than anyone else's. Also, your declaration of Jasper's answer as completely wrong is, I'm afraid, incorrect. "To be over something" can refer to the cessation of many different kinds of strong feelings about something—revulsion, obsession, fear, interest, anger, sadness,—not just attraction—and without context, it's impossible to know which emotion has been gotten over. – nohat Jul 14 '11 at 15:50

A possible reading of the phrase "I've gotten over tool recently", is that the speaker was once very interested in tool, but has now lost interest in it. That he has gotten over it. A similar common usage would be, "I really loved jogging but I've gotten over it. It's too tiring".

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    +1 — This is certainly how I would read the original sentence. As I understand it, this usage of to get over derives from the first sense @kiamlaluno cites, to recover from an ailment or an upsetting or startling experience, via its frequent application to affairs of the heart: I was hopelessly in love with Cesario, but now I’ve gotten over him. – PLL Feb 5 '11 at 14:28
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    +1 here too, this is definitely the correct idiomatic reading. – Hellion Feb 5 '11 at 15:57
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    +1. What does "a native speaker more than you may think" mean? Are you a native speaker or not? Also, it would be "I am more of a native speaker than you think". So...don't answer questions in the future? – theidiotbox Jul 6 '11 at 21:32
  • @Jasper - I hate assumptions, and I'm very sorry if I incorrectly assumed you are not a completely native speaker. (Not that there's anything wrong with not being a native English speaker.) But it is an incredibly straightforward, extremely well-known figure of speech. I'm sorry. Notice the eleven (!!!) votes for the correct answer. Also, I was not referring to only you, but also the other utterly incorrect answers. Very best. – Fattie Jul 6 '11 at 21:32
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    Given the context explained by the OP, this is probably the correct answer, but there are many different kinds of feelings that can be "gotten over", not just interest. – nohat Jul 14 '11 at 15:51

Original sentence: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/57627/msys-vs-cygwin

I've gotten over cygwin recently. There's a lot of impedance mismatch between cygwin and the native platform

I read that as the user of cygwin no longer is annoyed with the shortcomings but initially it sounded to me as he no longer use it and has gotten over that fact - perhaps we ask him? @AdamMitz


Looking at the NOAD, I found two different phrasal verbs.

  • to get over: to recover from an ailment or an upsetting or startling experience; to overcome a difficulty.
  • to get [something] over: to manage to communicate an idea or theory.

In the sentence you wrote (where tool is referring to a software tool), I would understand to get over as to overcome the difficulty to use the tool.

  • That's a reasonable assumption, but it's not the right one. – psmears Jul 14 '11 at 12:59

When someone "gets over something", it might mean that he or she is no longer affected by some event, or no longer gives a lot of thought or concern to something.

"She got over the breakup."

"She is over him."

Also, see T. Logos 's answer.

  • This is pretty much the same as what Jasper Loy wrote. This is not helpful. – Matt E. Эллен Jul 9 '11 at 7:04
  • I don't think it is, and since this is an answered question, I think this definition is a useful addition for anyone searching for a definition. – theidiotbox Jul 9 '11 at 8:01
  • In fact, after reading over the other answers offered, I think t. logos and I (together) have defined the expression well. – theidiotbox Jul 9 '11 at 8:06
  • It doesn't mean that it doesn't concern them any more (in the questioner's context) it means that they don't like it any more. There is a difference that your answer does not pick up on, nor does Jasper Loy's. T. Logo's does. – Matt E. Эллен Jul 14 '11 at 14:25

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