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"turned up on his face".

Posted by Rachel on November 24, 2005

I'm looking for the origin of the phrase "turned up on his face". It means becoming bankrupt. But I was wondering if there was an actual origin of this phrase. It's used in a 1954 lecture in the following context: "Did you ever hear of John Law and the Mississippi Bubble? The Mississippi Bubble, the area around New Orleans being promoted by a Scotchman, John Law, brought France into bankruptcy and was the primary factor in destoying the royal line and government of France. There wasn't anybody with money in all of France who didn't get turned up on his face by the Mississippi Bubble."