go belly-up

Idioms & Phrases

go belly-up

Fail, go bankrupt, as in This company's about to go belly-up. This expression alludes to the posture of a dead fish in the water. [Slang; early 1900s] Also see go broke.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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