What is an idiom or a saying to express utter exhaustion with a topic? Like "fed up with beating a dead horse", only pithier, and doesn't seem to condone cruelty to animals?

For example:

ab2 is {fed up with beating a dead horse} over [single-word-requests]

Credit to ab2 for the question. And no, "covfefe" is not an acceptable answer, I want a real one.

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    "I've had it up to here with..."? Nov 23, 2017 at 11:49
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    How does hitting a horse corpe condone cruelty to animals? its an ex-horse, passed on, ceased to be etc (continue ad tedium)
    – Spagirl
    Nov 23, 2017 at 11:59
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    'Alternatives to beating a dead horse' --->rayfowler.org/2008/02/15/…
    – Nigel J
    Nov 23, 2017 at 12:12
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    @Spagirl - In terms of condoning cruelty to animals, "beating a dead horse" comes from the phrase "there's no point beating a dead horse" which implies that there is point in beating a live horse; hence cruelty.
    – AndyT
    Nov 23, 2017 at 12:37
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    @Spagirl - I've now googled the "there's no point in ..." part. Turns out it's relatively obscure (1000 hits each for "beating" and "flogging" the dead horse). So clearly my earlier statement was rubbish, and the original phrase doesn't contain "there's no point in". Chalk another one up for AndyT talking rubbish as though he knows what he's talking about. It's a good thing answers require research - it's saved me from a lot of other incorrect statements on this site!
    – AndyT
    Nov 23, 2017 at 17:22

4 Answers 4


A phrase I greatly enjoy is 'Sick to the back teeth'

sick to the teeth (or back teeth) of


Extremely annoyed about or tired of.

‘I'm just sick to the back teeth of waiting’

I particularly like the fact that it describes exactly the same physical situation as 'threw up/was sick in my mouth a little bit' without invoking the same visceral response, familiarity lets its grossness fly under the radar.


I know that you are looking for idioms rather than single words, but since you are also looking for 'pithy' and since I found myself in the Dictionary of the Scots Language for other reasons, I thought I'd offer up the verb 'to Scunner'

V. tr. To cause a feeling of repulsion, aversion or loathing in (a person), to disgust, nauseate, surfeit:

'The smell of his body scunnered them.'

in fig. usage, to make (one) bored, uninterested or antipathetic.

He canna stand Tories by naething, they fair scunner him.

to bother, to take up (someone's) time or interest.

I canna be scunnered wi = I have no time for, no patience with.

And in the noun form 'a Scunner'

n. 1. A feeling of disgust, surfeit or nausea, loathing

Like an auld dog that trails its useless ugsome carcass into some bush or bracken, no to gie living things a sconner wi' the sight o't when it's dead.

in a fig. sense: repugnance, distaste, dislike, a loss of interest or enthusiasm Many of them have taken a scunner at religion because they took a scunner at it at school.

In your example sentence the verb form would render as

ab2 is scunnered with single-word-requests

and as a noun

ab2 took a scunner at single-word-requests

(nae auld dogs were skelpit in the writing of this answer.)

  • Interesting. I've only ever come across the word before in the pictsie dialect in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, where it means "a generally unpleasant person".
    – AndyT
    Nov 23, 2017 at 17:24
  • @AndyT I see nearly added that it came to an international audience via the wee free men...
    – Spagirl
    Nov 23, 2017 at 20:57
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    A gem of a new word! But I am not scunnered with SWRs; I am scunnered with talking about them.
    – ab2
    Nov 24, 2017 at 0:07

I'm a fan of Exasperated



irritate intensely; infuriate. "this futile process exasperates prison officers"

ab2 is exasperated with single-word-requests

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    I'm looking for a colourful idiom rather than a single word.
    – AndyT
    Nov 23, 2017 at 12:36

Apparently the Dakota Indians have a saying of 'dismounting from a dead horse' when they wish to cease from a pointless activity.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians says when you discover you’re riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Various alternatives are discussed here in regard to horses and their welfare when misused in idioms. The quote above is taken from this link.

'I am fed up going round in circles' is a common (and humane) way of saying the same thing.

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