I want to know the informal of saying that a person fell suddenly asleep because he had a very hard day or because he was exhausted or very tired.

For instance a person was reading a book and didn't notice how he fell asleep still holding the book. Or for instance a person was watching a film while sitting and suddenly fell asleep in his sitting pose.

  • 2
    Dropped off is fairly common. Aug 15, 2017 at 19:38
  • @StoneyB Something like He dropped off while reading and He dropped off while watching the film? Aug 15, 2017 at 19:41
  • Yeah, perzackly. Aug 15, 2017 at 19:50
  • If it isn't in the middle of an activity like reading or watching TV, we can express the idea of falling asleep immediately so: "I was so tired, when my head hit the pillow I was out like a light."
    – TimR
    Aug 15, 2017 at 21:09
  • Informal or slang?
    – Andrew
    Aug 15, 2017 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


If you're looking for something very informal, but in Washington state (as far as I know) we say:

"He conked out"

"To conk out" means that he fell asleep very suddenly, most likely to exhaustion or strain. "Zonking out" means the same thing, but is generally used more when the person has passed out due to inebriation and the like.

"He dropped off"

"He crashed"

"He was out" (emphasizing the 'out')

These are also common, but "crashed" implies that he had been being very energetic for some time beforehand.

  • What about just pass out or nod off (I think the latter emphasizes unintentionality or suddenness, but still)? Flake out looks like a good candidate, too, but I don't know if that slang term is still current (it looks kinda generic so I think it is): "to be overcome especially by exhaustion".
    – user3395
    Aug 15, 2017 at 20:23
  • 1
    @userr2684291 I considered it, but I thought that "passing out" might get confusing because that could be used if the person was being asphyxiated, drunk, etc., and the question-asker specifically said the person in question was just tired. I also felt that "nodding off" lacked immediacy. Aug 15, 2017 at 20:26
  • 2
    The "nodding" in "nodding off" can refer to the multiple time the head can "nod" as the person drifts in and out of sleep, like the person in this video: youtube.com/watch?v=Qv6xdOFDTP0 This can potentially take a long time Aug 15, 2017 at 20:36
  • 1
    Definitely, "to crash" is very common out here in the Western United States, and means exactly what OP asks.
    – Andrew
    Aug 16, 2017 at 5:23

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