I was wondering what does the expression "walk one's feet into the ground" mean.

Someone wrote me:

  • Yesterday, on my way to work I walked my feet into the ground.

Does it mean: "I walked so long way that I got tired in a manner that I could not walk anymore" in informal English?

Also, I need to know if it is used in AnE too? And finally, I need to know what is its alternative in written English?

PS. I looked it up on the internet, but I could not find any reliable source defining the term.

  • 1
    You normally walk (more often, run or work) a person into the ground, not your feet! So don't copy the version you've come across, unless you want at least some people to think your English is "peculiar". To my ear, it sounds a bit like some kind of "Malapropism" riffing off established usages like work one's fingers to the bone and sing one's heart out (or even talk the hind leg off a donkey). Feb 12, 2022 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


It would mean that you walked till you could walk no further. It's not a particular common expression, but it is from a family of expressions such as "rowed his arms off", or "cried his heart out". Which mean "rowed/cried until he could row/cry no more".

In this precise context, it seems to be used incorrectly. On the way to work you have a fixed distance to travel, you stop when you reach work, you don't walk until exhaustion.

Formal English is all about being simple clear and polite. Formal English tends to avoid cliché.

Yesterday on the way to work, I walked until I was exhausted.

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