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1. To escape; to vanish or disappear. (Not necessarily in a southerly direction.) Everyone in the gang headed south when they learned that the police had discovered their hideout.
2. To fall or drop; to depreciate; to lose quality or value. (Especially related to finances or stock exchanges.) The company's stock profile continued heading south for the third day in a row today. I used to be a big player in the stock market, but all my investments have headed south lately.
3. To cease working or functioning; to quit, fail, or fall apart. Talks between the labor union and the construction firm headed south yesterday, so it looks like workers will be on strike again soon. My computer is only a month old, and it's already heading south.
head for a fall
To take actions that will likely result in a problem or conflict, typically due to one's past behavior. With the way he keeps skipping school, he is definitely headed for a fall. Oh, Jennifer is heading for a fall—you can't start rumors about half the school without repercussions.
head for the hills
1. To move to higher ground, as in preparation for or response to a natural disaster. There are bound to be tsunamis after an earthquake like that. We'd better head for the hills!
2. To flee hastily; to clear out or depart quickly. You better head for the hills before mom comes home and sees what you did to her car. The bandits all headed for the hills when they heard the marshall was riding into town.
be heading for a fall
To be taking actions that will likely result in a problem or conflict, typically due to one's past behavior. With the way he keeps skipping school, he is definitely heading for a fall. Oh, Jennifer is heading for a fall—you can't start rumors about half the school without repercussions.
head off to (some place)
To leave for a particular place. Louise just headed off to the store, but you can probably still catch her, if you leave now.
head for the hillsand take to the hills; run for the hills
1. Lit. to flee to higher ground. The river's rising. Head for the hills! Head for the hills! Here comes the flood!
2. Fig. to depart quickly. Here comes crazy Joe. Run for the hills. Everyone is heading for the hills because that boring Mr. Simpson is coming here again.
be heading for a fallor
be riding for a fall
If a person or an organization is heading for a fall or is riding for a fall, they are doing things that make them likely to have problems or to fail soon. The Tory Party is heading for a great fall. Here was a company that seemed to be riding for a fall. Now, it has become the sixth-biggest firm in the market. Note: You can also say that a person or organization is headed for a fall. There were some who wondered whether Black's vanity indicated that he was headed for a fall. Note: This expression was probably first used in fox-hunting to refer to someone who was riding dangerously.
If something heads south or goes south, it becomes less successful or falls to a lower level. At that point, the stock market headed south. Managers were selling shares in the certain knowledge that the company was going south.
See go South
n. popping up and down in an office cubicle, looking at what’s going on in the rest of the office. (see also prairie dog.) Everybody was turtle heading, trying to see what was happening in Willy’s cubicle.