turn (someone or something) upside down

(redirected from turn them upside down)

turn (someone or something) upside down

1. Literally, to physically invert someone or something. I can't go on those roller coasters that turn you upside down—they make me so nauseous.
2. To carefully examine or search a particular place (often creating a mess in the process). Can you believe I turned the entire house upside down looking for an invitation that was on my refrigerator the whole time?
3. To affect or alter one's outlook, circumstances, or lifestyle, usually negatively. Being rejected by the university that was my top choice turned my whole world upside down. Lena was turned upside down when her mom died, and it took a long time for her to find her way again.
4. To cause or introduce significant changes to something, often as a way of attempting to improve it or change its course. This method of filing is so inefficient that I think it's time to turn the whole process upside down.
See also: down, turn, upside

turn someone or something upside down

 
1. Lit. to invert someone or something. The wrestler turned his opponent upside down and dropped him on his head. I turned the bottle upside down, trying to get the last drop out.
2. Fig. to upset someone or something; to thoroughly confuse someone or something. The whole business turned me upside down. It'll take days to recover.
See also: down, turn, upside

turn something upside down

Fig. to throw things all about in a thorough search for someone or something. We turned this place upside down, looking for the lost ring. Please don't turn everything upside down, looking for your book.
See also: down, turn, upside

turn upside down

Put in disorder, mix or mess up, as in He turned the whole house upside down looking for his checkbook. This metaphoric phrase transfers literally inverting something so that the upper part becomes the lower (or vice versa) to throwing into disorder or confusion. [First half of 1800s]
See also: down, turn, upside

turn someone upside down

tv. to upset someone; to confuse someone. The events of the week turned us both upside down.
See also: down, someone, turn, upside

turn something upside down

tv. to search a place or thing. We turned his place upside down but never found the gun.
See also: down, something, turn, upside
References in periodicals archive ?
I've handled a lot of insects and I even had a go at sexing some Giant African Millipedes last week, not quick or easy as the only way to tell the difference between male and female is to turn them upside down and look for a couple of missing feet.
I shake my ideas around and turn them upside down and look at them flying out the window like a flock of birds.
Directed by Atul Kumar, the play is a series of absurd comic sketches that take banal events and situations from everyday life and turn them upside down.
If the pots are to remain outdoors, do not neglect to turn them upside down to prevent water from collecting in them.
Just turn them upside down, add a saucer, and top with a pillar candle.
Clutching the flower stems in your hand, turn them upside down, then very gently bounce the flower heads on a tabletop, while slightly loosening your grip on the stems.