Deteriorate or decline, as in The stock market is headed south again. This expression is generally thought to allude to compasses and two-dimensional maps where north is up and south is down. However, among some Native Americans, the term was a euphemism for dying, and possibly this sense led to the present usage. [Slang; first half of 1900s] Also see go west.
Words nearby go south
How to use go south in a sentence
If events continue to go south in a big way, the IRGC might be forced to choose between competing, compelling security priorities.Iran Is the Biggest Loser in Iraq|Aki Peritz|June 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Unfortunately, when things go south, they go south very quickly.Why Industry Hashtags #FAIL|Samantha Levine|May 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The equivalent of that nerve— the most direct route to its end organ—is to go south of the equivalent of the artery.Rediscovering Richard Dawkins: An Interview|J.P. O’Malley|September 23, 2013|DAILY BEAST
After all, they're not the ones who stand to lose when things inevitably go south.Mark Ruffalo on the Gulf Gas-Well Blowout and Why We Need to Kick Fossil Fuels to the Curb|Mark Ruffalo|July 29, 2013|DAILY BEAST
And when bets started to go south, the market, realizing that it had no way to assess the extent of the damage, freaked out.Break Up the Banks?|Megan McArdle|February 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Write him a note, telling him you are obliged to go south to take a look at your mother's ranch.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
Why does she go South for the same salary she has had in New Hampshire?'
It would be better than that to go south and make for Thibet, although even that would be a desperate expedition.Condemned as a Nihilist|George Alfred Henty
It was not very long after this that a party of young men set out to war, all mounted, to go south to look for the Utes.When Buffalo Ran|George Bird Grinnell
Soon he must go South for his rice feast, for early in summer the birds of his clan descend upon the rice fields and lo!The Girl Scouts at Camp Comalong|Lillian Garis