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Pear shaped

Posted by ESC on May 17, 2006

In Reply to: Pear shaped posted by Graeme Reed on May 17, 2006

: The phrase "gone completely pear shaped", 1) what is the origin, 2) when first used and 3) the original meaning.

Search the archives under "pear" for previous discussions. One theory that has been suggested:

To go pear shaped is an expression used to indicate that a scheme has not been perfectly executed. The phrase seems to have originated in British English in the late 1940s or early 1950s. I have come across several suggested origins, but the best, for me, is related to training aircraft pilots. At some stage they are encouraged to try to fly loops - very difficult to make perfectly circular; often the trainee pilot's loops would go pear shaped.