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Go belly up

[ 2009-09-30 14:05]     字号 [] [] []  
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Go belly up

Nancy Matos

Reader question: “About eight out of every ten new small businesses go belly up within five years.”

Could you explain “go belly up”?

My comments: Type in the phrase “go belly up” in an online search engine nowadays and you will see several headlines reporting everything from banks to airlines going “belly up” due to the financial crisis.

“Go belly up” means losing, failing, etc. It is used when referring to companies and organizations going bankrupt, not so much in the personal sense. For example, you wouldn’t say “Don’t go belly up on your English exam” to indicate avoiding failing the exam.

The term “go belly up” is based on the visual of a dead fish lying upside down in the water, with its belly facing up.


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About the author:

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.