Entries linking to overfed
word-forming element meaning variously "above; highest; across; higher in power or authority; too much; above normal; outer; beyond in time, too long," from Old English ofer (from PIE root *uper "over"). Over and its Germanic relations were widely used as prefixes, and sometimes could be used with negative force. This is rare in Modern English, but compare Gothic ufarmunnon "to forget," ufar-swaran "to swear falsely;" Old English ofercræft "fraud."
In some of its uses, moreover, over is a movable element, which can be prefixed at will to almost any verb or adjective of suitable sense, as freely as an adjective can be placed before a substantive or an adverb before an adjective. [OED]
Among the old words not now existing are Old English oferlufu (Middle English oferlufe), literally "over-love," hence "excessive or immoderate love." Over- in Middle English also could carry a sense of "too little, below normal," as in over-lyght "of too little weight" (c. 1400), overlitel "too small" (mid-14c.), overshort, etc.
past-participle adjective from feed (v.). Fed up "surfeited, disgusted, bored," is British slang first recorded 1900 (some early uses connect it to the Boer War), extended to U.S. by World War I; probably from earlier phrases like fed up to the back teeth. Earlier it was used of livestock, "fatten up by feeding." The notion probably is the same one in to have had enough "to have had too much."
updated on October 28, 2019