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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.
Referring to the southeastern US. My husband's job got transferred down South, so we'll be living in Georgia by the end of the month. We always travel down South during the winter to escape the cold.
to or at the southeastern United States. I used to live down South. We are going down South for the winter.
go southand head South
1. Sl. to make an escape; to disappear. (Not necessarily in a southerly direction.) Lefty went South the minute he got out of the pen. The mugger headed South just after the crime.
2. Sl. to fall; to go down. (Securities markets.) All the stock market indexes went South today. The market headed South today at the opening bell
3. Sl. to quit; to drop out of sight. Fred got discouraged and went South. I think he gave up football permanently. After pulling the bank job, Wilbur went South for a few months.
mouth full of South
Sl. a southern accent. You sure do have a mouth full of South. I just love to hear a man with a mouth full of South.
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.
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.
2008 Newsweek Many months ago, McCain remarked, honestly, that he didn't know much about economics. As the economy heads south, he is routinely reminded of his candor.
head ˈnorth/ˈsouth(business) (about share prices, currencies, etc.) rise/fall in value: The country’s currency headed south for the second day, weakening 1.4%.
go Southand head South
1. in. to fall; to go down. (Securities markets. This is a way of saying down. South is usually “down” on a map.) The market headed South today at the opening bell.
2. in. to quit; to drop out of sight. After pulling the bank job, Shorty went South for a few months.
3. in. to make an escape; to disappear. The mugger went South just after the crime.
See go South
a mouth full of South
n. a southern accent. I just love to hear a man with a mouth full of South.