Help me understand "pour over"



Most people today has nearly an empty "glass" of unique life experiences when they die. Ludo's glass was already pouring over of experiences that millions dream about achieving only once.

The full text is from here.The two sentences do not make sense to me. In the first sentence, he said that most people's glasses are empty. So to contrast with Ludo's, the 2nd should be understood as saying : Ludo's "glass" is filled with experiences. Why does he say "the glass was pouring over of experiences ". How can a glass pour itself ? A cup/glass can only be poured by people. And I don't believe this is similar to this


Posted 2014-09-10T05:10:33.983

Reputation: 585

You're more likely in general to see "pour over" used when the correct wording is "pore over," but that's a separate problem of misusage. – Carl Witthoft – 2014-09-10T15:10:10.607

4There is an unrelated error in the first sentence: it should be "Most people today have". – Nate Eldredge – 2014-09-10T15:38:28.860

@NateEldredge Even replacing 'has' with 'have' doesn't fix it. "Most people today have nearly an empty 'glass'..." should be "Most people today have a nearly empty 'glass'..." – DCShannon – 2014-09-10T23:34:58.693

Both sentences look rather like they've been generated by Google Translate... I think it would sound more fluent to say, "Most people today have an almost empty glass of unique life experiences when they die. Ludo's glass was already running over with experiences that millions dream of achieving once..." Actually, even that sounds awful! – i alarmed alien – 2014-09-11T03:29:36.493



Pouring over of is a mistake made by a non-native English speaker. You won't find that expression in common usage.

Normal, correct ways to express what I believe he is trying to say would be

Ludo's glass was already overflowing with experiences that millions dream about achieving only once.


Ludo's glass was already spilling over with experiences that millions dream about achieving only once.

The glass is, of course, metaphorical.

By the way, there is an unrelated expression that sounds the same. To pore over something means to inspect or read something carefully.


Posted 2014-09-10T05:10:33.983

Reputation: 7 829

3Another valid variant is "running over" (or "runneth over" if you want to sound archaic or ironic). The popularity of the metaphor presumably can be tracked back to Psalm 23 ("The Lord Is My Shepherd"). The translation is "my cup overflows" in the NIV, but "my cup runneth over" in the KJV. I think it's a safe understatement to say that the KJV was quite influential on English idiom :-) – Steve Jessop – 2014-09-10T10:24:39.547

Oh, and "to paw through" something is similar to "to pore over", but with direct contact! – Steve Jessop – 2014-09-10T10:29:49.137

"Brimming over" is what I'd've said. – starsplusplus – 2014-09-10T11:01:43.843

You could have a pudding with a sauce to pour over it, though. – i alarmed alien – 2014-09-11T03:34:35.767


Consider this: when you pour something into a glass it's not only the action of water entering the glass but also water leaving the original container. So in this instance, it's saying that the glass is so full that experiences are pouring out.

The excerpt was taken from a facebook page so it is not perfect English as it was more casually written.

I'd rewrite it as thus:

Most people die with a near "empty" glass of life experiences; Ludo's glass was already overpouring with experiences that millions of people dream of experiencing just once.

I agree the word of is awkward in the original excerpt and with is more appropriate.

RIP Base-jumper Ludo


Posted 2014-09-10T05:10:33.983

Reputation: 169

So you mean that the glass is so full and it overflows ? – quintana43 – 2014-09-10T05:42:05.813

1@quintana43 Yes, that is exactly what pouring over means in this instance. – deadghost – 2014-09-10T05:48:17.437

Can I leave out "of" ?.It sounds strange to me. And since you're a native speaker, is there a better way to say this ? – quintana43 – 2014-09-10T05:52:44.273

2@quintana43 As deadghost says, it's not written in good English. When I read the original sentence I understood what it meant but this use of "pouring over" is almost unheard of. Most people would say "overflowing". – Bob Tway – 2014-09-10T08:07:07.450

@quintana: yes. If you were going to say "pouring over" (rather than the more familiar variants that 200_success gives), then you should certainly say "pouring over with experiences", not "pouring over of experiences". – Steve Jessop – 2014-09-10T10:28:37.103

@deadghost Do you mean "overpouring"? That isn't a word AFAIK. – i alarmed alien – 2014-09-11T03:31:55.757

@ialarmedalien Yep I meant "overpouring" as in She overpours her drinks. Although I had to think a while to decide whether it was over pour or overpour and decided it was more one word than two similar to overexert. – deadghost – 2014-09-11T04:36:58.907

That must be an Americanism as it is not in common usage in the UK (not that I have heard it in the US either...). Google ngrams confirms that it is very rarely used. – i alarmed alien – 2014-09-11T04:42:02.030

"overpouring" should be "overflowing" if it's something happening to the glass. Overpouring is something done by the person filling the glass, although to me it only feels right when talking about e.g. The builders overpoured the concrete:

– rjmunro – 2014-09-11T09:51:15.077