lose one's shirt

lose (one's) shirt

To lose a significant amount of one's money (often all of it). This is my last chance—I'll lose my shirt if this business venture fails.
See also: lose, shirt

lose one's shirt

Face financial ruin, go bankrupt, as in He lost his shirt in the last recession. This expression implies one has lost even one's shirt. [Early 1900s]
See also: lose, shirt

lose one's shirt, to

To lose everything. This term alludes to betting on or investing everything one owns in some venture, but at one time it meant to become very angry (in effect the opposite of keep your shirt on). The current cliché, aided and abetted by the Great Depression, is a twentieth-century locution. “He hit the market . . . about the time the bottom dropped out of it. He lost his shirt!” (E. B. Mann, Thirsty Range, 1935).
See also: lose