What does ‘all over oneself’ mean?
The idiom "all over oneself" means to be extremely enthusiastic or excited about something.
Bewilderment of "All Over Oneself"
The idiom "all over oneself" conveys the idea of being excessively eager, enthusiastic, or excited. It describes someone who is completely consumed by a particular emotion, experience, or desire. The phrase is widely used in both spoken and written English to emphasize the intensity of someone's focus and actions.
The origin of the phrase "all over oneself" is not well-documented, but it is believed to stem from the figurative use of the term "all over" which implies being fully immersed or completely covered by something. When combined with the reflexive pronoun "oneself," it emphasizes the idea of being entirely engulfed or overwhelmed by a particular state or situation.
While the exact time period when the phrase gained its idiomatic sense cannot be determined, it is safe to assume that it has been in colloquial use for several decades, if not longer. The idiom adds color and emphasis to descriptions of individuals who exhibit excessive eagerness or excitement.
For example, one might say, "He was all over himself with joy when he found out he got the job," to convey the image of someone who is overcome with happiness and visibly exudes excitement. Similarly, the phrase can be used to describe a person who is excessively flattering or obsequious, such as saying, "She was all over herself trying to impress the boss."
It is important to note that the phrase "all over oneself" tends to carry a negative connotation. It depicts someone whose enthusiasm or eagerness is regarded as excessive or over the top, possibly to the point of being off-putting or annoying.
While the idiom is most commonly encountered in informal conversations and writing, it can occasionally be found in more formal contexts as well. However, its colloquial nature and potential negative undertones might make it less appropriate in certain formal settings.
Now, let's explore some related idioms that are similar in meaning or usage to "all over oneself". These idioms include "bubble over", "full of oneself", "knock oneself out", "go overboard", and "go wild".
Bubble over is used to describe someone who is exuberantly enthusiastic or excited, often to the point of being unable to contain their emotions. This idiom conveys a sense of effervescence or bubbling energy. It can be used in situations where someone is so overwhelmed with happiness or excitement that it literally feels like their emotions are bubbling over.
Another related idiom is "full of oneself". This phrase is used to describe someone who is excessively self-centered, arrogant, or boastful. It implies that the person thinks very highly of themselves and constantly seeks attention or admiration from others. While "all over oneself" and "full of oneself" have different connotations, they both involve a sense of self-absorption.
"Knock oneself out" is an idiom that means to exert a great deal of effort, often to the point of exhaustion. It can be used to describe someone who goes above and beyond in their actions or endeavors. While "all over oneself" focuses on excessive enthusiasm or excitement, "knock oneself out" emphasizes the level of effort or energy expended.
"Go overboard" is an idiom that means to go to an extreme or excessive extent. It is often used to describe someone who takes something too far or becomes overly enthusiastic about a particular topic or activity. This idiom conveys the idea of going beyond what is considered normal or reasonable. Similarly, "go wild" is an idiom that means to become unrestrained or excessively excited. It is used to describe someone who becomes extremely enthusiastic or exhilarated, often in a wild or uninhibited manner.
The idiom "all over oneself" portrays the idea of being excessively eager, enthusiastic, or excited. Its origins are not definitively known, but it is believed to stem from the figurative use of the term "all over." While the idiom is commonly encountered in informal conversations and writing, it can occasionally be found in more formal contexts as well. It carries a negative connotation, suggesting that someone's overwhelming eagerness or enthusiasm can be off-putting or irritating. Additionally, there are several related idioms, such as "bubble over", "full of oneself", "knock oneself out", "go overboard", and "go wild", that share similar meanings or usage with "all over oneself". These idioms provide additional nuance and richness to the English language.
Examples of how the idiom "all over oneself" can be used in a sentence:
- She was so excited about her surprise party that she was all over herself with joy.
- After winning the championship, the team was all over themselves with celebrations.
- He was all over himself with embarrassment when he tripped in front of everyone.