KudoZ home » English » Slang

belly up

English translation: failure (in general)

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
03:02 Jan 25, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Slang
English term or phrase: belly up
Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rist to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly up.

What does it mean by "belly up"? "Belly up" in the dictionary mean "to move close to". I don't understand the word in this context. However, the story used to talked about beached whale, I don't know if there is anything to do with the whale belly up?
Buttercup
English translation:failure (in general)
Explanation:
This term usually refers to a "plan" of some sort, which is thwarted for whatever reason, and hence goes "belly up". In your context, Dolores has a "plan" to "rise to the occasion" (whatever that may be) and is going to try it before finally admitting defeat. At least, that is the most likely explanation.

The suggestion of "bankrupt" is not therefore necessarily wrong, it may well apply under specific circumastances, but hard to judge without knowing more about Delores!

In very specific contexts, where it is clear that failure=death (e.g. in a shoot-out), then that answer may also be valid.

But generally, it refers to failure. It can be as mundane as "we were planning to watch X vs Y on TV in the sports bar, but that went belly up, becos the satellite wasn't working".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 36 mins (2004-01-25 03:39:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

sorry about the extra \'a\' in circumstances!
Selected response from:

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 10:19
Grading comment
Thank you very much everyone
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +16failure (in general)Charlie Bavington
5 +9Give upxxxAlex Zelkind
5 +1to become bankrupt.Fuad Yahya
4 +1deadntext


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
dead


Explanation:
Belly up, like a dead fish in the water. (I don't know whether it means dead in a literal or in a figurative way here, only context can tell.)

ntext
United States
Local time: 04:19
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxJoeYeckley: before dying
4 mins

neutral  Charlie Bavington: see below
35 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to become bankrupt.


Explanation:
To go belly-up is to become bankrupt.

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  PB Trans
16 mins

neutral  Charlie Bavington: only in specific circumstances. Not wrong, just too specific.
30 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
Give up


Explanation:
Is another way to interpret this

xxxAlex Zelkind
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: yep, in the sentence that we have, if D decides to go belly up, it could easily mean exactly this (see below!!)
6 mins

agree  chopra_2002
10 mins
  -> Thank you, Charlie and Langclinic

agree  chica nueva: giving up and abandoning control of her life,giving up the struggle to make something of herself,becoming defeated and giving up hope, to float like flotsam and jetsam,to drift...?? Do boats go belly-up, (or just keel over and turn turtle?)
3 hrs

agree  Jacqueline van der Spek
5 hrs

agree  Annamaria Leone
7 hrs

agree  NancyLynn
8 hrs

agree  Nado2002
20 hrs

agree  Asghar Bhatti
1 day11 hrs

agree  MatthewS
4 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +16
failure (in general)


Explanation:
This term usually refers to a "plan" of some sort, which is thwarted for whatever reason, and hence goes "belly up". In your context, Dolores has a "plan" to "rise to the occasion" (whatever that may be) and is going to try it before finally admitting defeat. At least, that is the most likely explanation.

The suggestion of "bankrupt" is not therefore necessarily wrong, it may well apply under specific circumastances, but hard to judge without knowing more about Delores!

In very specific contexts, where it is clear that failure=death (e.g. in a shoot-out), then that answer may also be valid.

But generally, it refers to failure. It can be as mundane as "we were planning to watch X vs Y on TV in the sports bar, but that went belly up, becos the satellite wasn't working".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 36 mins (2004-01-25 03:39:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

sorry about the extra \'a\' in circumstances!

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 10:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you very much everyone

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxAlex Zelkind: Yes, "surrender" or "give up" in this context, it seems
6 mins

agree  chopra_2002
7 mins

agree  Pike: primary meaning is a colloquial expression for "to die" - croke
18 mins

agree  RHELLER: YES! admitting defeat is perfect
41 mins

agree  chica nueva: go/turn belly up (informal) = If a company or plan goes/turns belly up, it fails. (metaphor - from fish dying)
3 hrs

agree  jerrie: giving in, letting it all go pear-shaped!
6 hrs

agree  NancyLynn: admitting defeat
8 hrs

agree  melayujati: in defeat.
8 hrs

agree  J. Leo
8 hrs

agree  xxxcmwilliams
8 hrs

agree  David Moore
9 hrs

agree  Refugio
10 hrs

agree  Nado2002
20 hrs

agree  Gordon Darroch
1 day6 hrs

agree  MatthewS
4 days

agree  Rajiv Arora
6 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search