turn belly up

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turn belly up

1. To die. Likened to a fish floating upside down when it dies. Those fireflies are going to turn belly up if you don't poke some holes in the lid of that jar. I know I don't have much time left in the world, so I want to write my will before I turn belly up.
2. To cease to work or function; to fall apart, break down, or become defunct. Sorry, Mark, I'd love to give you a lift to the airport, but my car turned belly up on me again. The disk drive in my laptop went belly-up after the one too many drops on the ground.
3. To fail completely or have a poor, undesired, or ruinous outcome. It looks like our co-op might be going belly-up if we aren't granted a license for our communal work premises. The merger deal between the two companies turned belly up when it came to light that one of the CEOs had been dodging tax obligations for several years.
See also: belly, turn, up

turn belly up

 and go belly up 
1. Sl to fail. (See also turn turtle.)—I sort of felt that the whole thing would go belly up, and I was right. The computeron its last legs anywayturned belly up right in the middle of an important job.
2. Sl. to die. (As a fish does when it dies.) The cat was acting strangely for a while before she turned belly up. Every fish in Greg's tank went belly up last night.
See also: belly, turn, up

turn belly up

and go belly up
1. in. to fail. I sort of felt that the whole thing would go belly up, and I was right. (See also belly up.) The computer—on its last legs anyway—turned belly up right in the middle of an important job.
2. in. to die. (As a fish does when it dies.) Every fish in Greg’s tank went belly up last night.
See also: belly, turn, up