"I could probably eat shit everyday" - Kenny

"Gone West/Gone South"

I was watching this documentary, that I believe is British, and the narrater said "And the relationship went west."

Now, here in the states it's "Went South," but I couldn't tell you why. I'm not sure whether or not I should be insulted that the British version is "Went West," but the difference is odd. I never thought "Went South" was a geographic thing. I thought it meant, basically "downhill" so unless the Brits are talking about something to do with the rotation of the Earth, West has almost gotta mean America.

Also, I have a hard time believing the two arose independantly of each other. Is the American "Went South" just our version of "Went West?" Or perhaps v.v.?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
22.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
Oh yeah, and your post doesn't address mine at all. 19.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
I've never heard the "went west" variation; I always figured "south" was alluding to a downwards direction, so what "west" would mean is a bit of a puzzle.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
Well, I did manage to find some discussion about this. Seems they don't know either.

http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases_and_Sayings/Question77064.html

Surely we're smarter than TheAnswerBank.Co.UK.

Out of the handful of matches for "gone south" "gone west" in Google, this was the only one that tackled this question at all. The rest were just coincidental uses of both sets of words.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
Well according to The Answer Bank dot Co dot UK, west _could_ either be Amsterdam, or the direction of the setting sun.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
"...direction of the setting sun"

So it's "gone west" is the equivalent of putting it where the sun doesn't shine? :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
Oops, you found an error!