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Origin and Meaning of Phrase

Posted by Ekim on November 28, 2003

In Reply to: Origin and Meaning of Phrase posted by S Elbe 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.

Phrase that originated during the American Civil War. During the early stages of the war Army officers (that had graduated from West Point) had to decide if they were to stay in the Union Army (north) or if they were going to join the Confederate Army (south). If they chose to join with the Confederate side they were referred to as "going south". It was used as a phrase of derision by the Federals that the defecting officer had made a poor choice or performed a poor action.