Does “all in” mean… “tired”?

When I used to play video games, “all in” meant that you were devoting your army to a “do or die” effort. In other words, you were either going to win or lose in the next battle. The “all in” meant that you typically brought all of your soldiers to fight, holding none back.

But years ago I was doing the Daily Jumble, and the hint was something like “After running a marathon he was _ __”. This was before the web, so I had nothing to fall back on. It turns out the answer was “ALL IN” meaning “tired”. I asked a friend and he said “that’s a usage from the eastern U.S.” I certainly hadn’t heard it before then and I still haven’t since.

Is this a common meaning? Maybe some easterners can chime in?


Having lived on the East Coast (mostly New England) for five years now, I cannot point to any situation in which all in has been used in conversation to mean tired, or anything else for that matter. This implies that I rarely, if ever, hear the phrase in regular conversation! Nevertheless, I do not think it is a regional thing. NOAD notes the phrase is informal:

all in
(informal) exhausted:
he was all in by halftime

I certainly wouldn’t have trouble deducing the meaning of the phrase from the context. Your friend may be right, though, about this usage being specific to the Northeastern US, but I doubt this is a fact.

Source : Link , Question Author : Fixee , Answer Author : Jimi Oke

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