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Gone south

Posted by ESC on November 24, 2003

In Reply to: Gone south posted by ESC on November 24, 2003

: : Can someone help? I need to know the origin and meaning of the phrase "went South on me." Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

: My understanding of the phrase is, if a project has gone south, it's "in the toilet," "gone bust," etc.

From Merriam-Webster online (meaning No. 2):

Main Entry: 1south
Pronunciation: 'sauth
Function: adverb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English suth; akin to Old High German sund- south and probably to Old English sunne sun
Date: before 12th century
1 : to, toward, or in the south
2 : into a state of decline or ruin. Causes the sluggish economy to go south -- G. F. Will.