I love the songs Lost! and Lost? (well, it's the same song but in different versions) by Coldplay. In these songs, we can hear:

I just got lost

Every river that I tried to cross

Every door I ever tried was locked


and I'm just waiting 'til the shine wears off

What does until the shine wears off mean?

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    I'm not a Coldplay fan, but generally "until the shine wears off" means "until the novelty wears off" or "until it's no longer new and exciting" (in analogy to "shiny, new toy" - when it's not shiny anymore, it's not new anymore, either.) – Dan Bron Aug 11 '14 at 20:24
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    wiki.answers.com/Q/… – Barmar Aug 12 '14 at 16:19
  • I use the expression " the shine wears off", to apply to something that is new and desired but that really didn't have value, and in a relatively short time, will lose that perceived value. I certainly wouldn't apply it to a serious relationship as in the GOOGLE example. More likely to the immediate success of a sports team with a new coach. Maybe Cold Play is referring to their own success and wishing it would dim so that they can be "normal" people again, unlocking closed doors – user183303 Jun 30 '16 at 19:47
  • I looked this up exactly for the same reason!! Hi5! – Rithwik Dec 7 '17 at 9:06

As Dan Bron says, "until the shine wears off" is an idiom that normally means "until the thing in question loses its novelty or freshness."

The first instance of "shine wears off" that a Google Books search finds is from Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, "In the Gray Goth" in Atlantic Monthly (November 1867):

I tell you, Johnny, young folks they start in life with very pretty ideas,—very pretty. But take it as a general thing, they don't know any more what they're talking about than they do about each other, and they don't know any more about each other than they do about the man in the moon. They begin very nice, with their new carpets and teaspoons, and a little mending to do, and coming home early evenings to talk ; but by and by the shine wears off. Then come the babies, and worry and wear and temper. About that time they begin to be a little acquainted, and to find out that there are two wills and two sets of habits to be fitted somehow. It takes them anywhere along from one year to three to get jostled down together. As for smoothing off, there's more or less of that to be done always.

In this example from almost 150 years ago, the shine appears to wear off the teaspoons and (metaphorically) everything else pretty quickly—before the babies arrive, even. But in the Coldplay song, I don't know what the still-shining thing is whose dimming the singer awaits. Life, maybe?


Actually the above answer doesn't make sense - the song is about holding on until things get better, and the 'novelty wearing off' phrase meaning doesn't fit.

This is a cricket (sport) idiom - at the start of a red ball game the cricket ball is new and shiny and swings around more. This is a difficult period for batsmen and bowlers are in the ascendancy. Hence it is a common expression in cricket to wait for the 'shine to wear off' i.e., when the ball gets older it stops swinging as much and gets softer, thus making it easier to score runs.

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    This makes more sense, but song lyrics are over-subjective for analysis on ELU. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 1 at 14:23

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