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head south

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.
See also: head, south

down 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.
See also: down, south

down South

to or at the southeastern United States. I used to live down South. We are going down South for the winter.
See also: down, south

go south

 and 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.
See also: south

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.
See also: full, mouth, of, south

go 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.
See also: south

head south


go south

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 also: head, south

head 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.
See also: head, south

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%.
See also: head, north, south

go South

and 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 also: south

head South

See also: head, south

a mouth full of South

n. a southern accent. I just love to hear a man with a mouth full of South.
See also: full, mouth, of, south
References in classic literature ?
You seem able to make yourself pretty comfortable," said Doctor South, with a grimness which would have disturbed Philip if he had not been in such high spirits.
Doctor South gave him a look, but did not reply directly.
Philip had put the book down on the table, and Doctor South took it up.
South of the equator, we have some direct evidence of former glacial action in New Zealand; and the same plants, found on widely separated mountains in this island, tell the same story.
Looking to America; in the northern half, ice-borne fragments of rock have been observed on the eastern side as far south as lat.
Behind us, to the south and east, an immense country and a chaotic heap of rocks and ice, the limits of which were not visible.
I, Captain Nemo, on this 21st day of March, 1868, have reached the South Pole on the ninetieth degree; and I take possession of this part of the globe, equal to one-sixth of the known continents.
Not long ago, when passing through the streets of a certain city in the South, I heard some brick-masons calling out, from the top of a two-story brick building on which they were working, for the "Governor" to "hurry up and bring up some more bricks.
Any other course my daily observation in the South convinces me, will be unjust to the Negro, unjust to the white man, and unfair to the rest of the state in the Union, and will be, like slavery, a sin that at some time we shall have to pay for.
Ferguson carefully remarked that they had not gone beyond the second degree of south latitude, nor the twenty-ninth of east longitude.
And, moreover, if you must go to the sea, it had better not have been to South End.
Perry can tell me how to convey a wife and five children a distance of an hundred and thirty miles with no greater expense or inconvenience than a distance of forty, I should be as willing to prefer Cromer to South End as he could himself.
We may also notice that, on the lunar sphere, the south pole is much more continental than the north pole.
I will here add a few remarks on the hybernation of animals in this part of South America.
The escape of the Indians to the south of the Rio Negro, where in such a vast unknown country they would be safe, is prevented by a treaty with the Tehuelches to this effect; -- that Rosas pays them so much to slaughter every Indian who passes to the south of the river, but if they fail in so doing, they themselves are to be exterminated.