Last night I wrote about how tired I was after my first day of teaching my classes remotely.
I’m disappointed now that I used the words ‘exhausted’ and ‘so tired’, because today I discovered an absolutely brilliant word I could have used instead: forswunk.
Forswunk is an adjective that means exhausted by hard work, or overworked. The verb is forswink: to tire or exhaust through labour.
Both are words from Middle English. I don’t even care that the Collins English Dictionary says these words are now obsolete. ‘Forswunk’ is a fabulous word and I’m going to use it.
To say “man, I am completely and utterly forswunk” is a much more expressive way to say that you’re “tired” or “beat” or “worn out” or “done in”. The only term that really comes close is the Australian vernacular term “knackered” which pretty much means the same thing.
So, if you hear someone saying they are knackered, meaning super tired, they’re probably Australian.
And if you hear an Australian saying they’re forswunk, it’s probably me.