Workplace burnout is a big topic of conversation these days, but the concept itself isn’t exactly new: According to Merriam Websterthe term burned (which refers to a feeling of exhaustion or exhaustion), dates back to the early 19th century and people have been giving it other names for much longer than that. Here are some ways people have described feeling exhausted throughout history.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this 15th century word means “submerged; exhausted; discouraged, dismayed. Yes, it looks like burnout!
You can probably feel this one in your bones: I’m tired is a word for exhaustion dating from the 16th century. Shakespeare used (Macbeth says, “I’m getting tired of the sun / And wish the domain of the world was now undone”), as does Tennyson (“I’m tired, tired, wish I was dead!”). the poet wrote in “Marianne”).
This word from the 17th century, which means “worn out, worn out” is sometimes spelled beazledas in this quote from 1875 A dictionary of the Sussex dialect: “He comes home tired from an evening, but not dazzled like the boys who go to plow.”
In addition to being exhausted, there was burn; Green’s slang dictionary dates this usage to 1927.
This 15th century adjective is derived from Latin defatīgātusmeaning “exhaust in mind and body”.
According The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional Englishthis slang term meaning “overloaded” is used in the UK but has its roots in the US military; weakened is the abbreviation of “fragmentation”.
In the 19th century, at die something intended for wear it. The phrase at a frazzle has been used to describe what Merriam-Webster calls “a state of fatigue or nervous exhaustion”, and it seems to have been a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt, who used it to describe political battles and their results. “We beat them to death,” he said of the Democrats in 1908. “I beat the old guard to death”, he noted in 1910, hit the nail the next day: “I said frazzle which you may remember, and you can quote me on that.”
This obsolete term from the 14th century means “overwork”. According to the OEDit was created by combining the word more with the word car, meaning “what overwhelms the mind, disturbs it; hence troubled state of mind, distress, anxiety; anxious solicitude, work or toil.
In the same way, too much effort is a 19th century term for work too hard. “The arch of the shoulders so universal with them simply signifies excessive work in the workshop,” George Gissing wrote in his 1889 novel. The lower world.
This word originated in 19th century northwest England and means “extremely tired; physically or mentally exhausted,” according to the OED. It was formed by combining pow (a variant of the word surveywhich usually refers to the top of an animal’s head) and the 18th century adjective queerwhich means “extremely tired”.
This colloquial phrase from early 20th century England, Australia and New Zealand is used to describe a stressful situation. (OED has citing uses “stressful days” and “stressful jobs”.) Later it was used to refer to someone who “experiences or displays mental or emotional strain or tension”, according to the OED.
This 1920s Scottish term means “a disease due to overwork, breakdown”, according to the Scottish National Dictionary. It’s burnout… all the way.