What are some phrases to express that it is hard to think because you are very tired. In English, saying your 'brain is fried' can be due to external reasons such as taking drugs, but I'm talking very simply about how to say you're tired and that it has become hard to think clearly and/or at a normal pace.

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    "я спекся" or simply "голова не работает" – ren Sep 29 '15 at 11:37
  • Мозги перегрелись – Anixx Sep 30 '15 at 1:46
  • You could use "в голове - каша", although it's more toward "I'm confused". @ren's "я спёкся" works well too. – Victor Bazarov Oct 1 '15 at 14:58
  • What about 'меня клинит?' @VictorBazarov – Конрад Oct 21 '15 at 7:00
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    Sure, that also means "unable to think". A slightly different "reason", I suppose (more like "wrench in the works"). – Victor Bazarov Oct 21 '15 at 11:38

I'd say "У меня мозги кипят" (i.e. "my brain boils"). This could also mean an external reason, as an extreme heat, but usually it stands for "I'm stuck", "I'm tired of thinking" etc.

BTW. This is probably due to driver's slang: if the engine overheats and starts smoking then one says "Мотор закипел".

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    As a bilingual Russian/English speaker, I disagree. "My brain is fried" indicates that you are done thinking/too tired to think. "У меня мозги кипят" ("my brain is on boil") is too close to a common Russian expression of "работа кипит" ("work is on boil") which means "work is in full swing" and brings up a mental image of a rolling boil of water - i.e. peak activity. I would argue that "У меня мозги кипят", to a Russian speaker, would indicate that your brain is working in overdrive, which is quite the opposite of "my brain is fried". – RADA Sep 29 '15 at 15:11
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    @RADA "Внутри всё кипит" = "To be enraged", "Работа кипит" = "The work goes well", "Мозги кипят" = "I'm stuck". These are all different. "Мозги кипят" is rather a modern slang which differs from the older idioms. – Matt Sep 29 '15 at 15:31
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    Interesting. "Голова не варит" ("Head's not boiling"?) means about the same, while literally it's more like the opposite. – D-side Feb 2 '16 at 8:23
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    @D-side, haha, that's true and really funny, I didn't realize it before!)) The thing is, that in English there is the same word "to boil" for Russian "кипеть" (for example, "Water boils at 100 degrees Centigrade.") and "варить" (which means "to cook by boiling", for example, "to boil soup"). "Мозги кипят" means "I was thinking extensively during long time, that's why now my brain is overheated, and can't think anymore". And "голова не варит" (i.e. doesn't produce, or "cook", any useful thoughts), just means "I can't think now", no matter for what reason. – Lara Feb 9 '16 at 15:05

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