take it south

English translation: do their worst, do whatever they had to

13:04 Jun 16, 2017
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Slang
English term or phrase: take it south
A worker got his hand stuck in a coupler and later had three and a half fingers amputated. He describes it like so:

You can try to pull your hand out of there but you know there is no way it is going to get out. That's why I just told them to ****take it south****. I remember I went to the emergency response team, I didn't want to look at it, I just had my right hand holding it down over there and once I got in the ambulance my mind just blanked out.

What does he mean by "take it south"? Thanks!
Mikhail Kropotov
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:30
Selected answer:do their worst, do whatever they had to
Explanation:
I think this is a better paraphrase of "take it south" if you're translating it into another language. If you're in this situation, you don't tell the medics to cut your hand off or go for the worst-case scenario: you say do whatever it takes, I don't care how bad it is.

"Do your worst" means not "do a bad job" but "do whatever is necessary".
Selected response from:

philgoddard
United States
Grading comment
Thanks everyone for your help
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +5do their worst, do whatever they had to
philgoddard
3 +2cut it off
Julius Ngwa
4go for the worst case scenario
airmailrpl


  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
cut it off


Explanation:
Context

Julius Ngwa
Canada
Local time: 14:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Robert Forstag: I've never seen the expression used in this way, but it is what fits the context, as you say. Maybe it is a regionalism.
18 mins

agree  acetran
1 day 4 hrs

neutral  Edith Kelly: I doubt anyone would mean to say that in the situation described
1 day 18 hrs
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45 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
go for the worst case scenario


Explanation:
take it south -> go for the worst case scenario

The use of south as in the phrase go south stems from the 1920s (from the Oxford English Dictionary): colloq. (orig. Stock Market). Downward or lower in value, price, or quality; in or into a worse condition or position.Sep 19, 2011
etymology - Origin of the idiom "go south" - English Language ...
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/42358/origin-of-...

go south - Wiktionary
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/go_south
go south (third-person singular simple present goes south, present participle ... (idiomatic) To become unfavorable; to decrease; to take a turn for the worse.

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 15:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 32
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
do their worst, do whatever they had to


Explanation:
I think this is a better paraphrase of "take it south" if you're translating it into another language. If you're in this situation, you don't tell the medics to cut your hand off or go for the worst-case scenario: you say do whatever it takes, I don't care how bad it is.

"Do your worst" means not "do a bad job" but "do whatever is necessary".

philgoddard
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Thanks everyone for your help

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yvonne Gallagher: yep, that's how I understand this.
3 hrs

agree  Charles Davis
3 hrs

agree  Yasutomo Kanazawa
9 hrs

agree  Edith Kelly
1 day 12 hrs

agree  B D Finch
2 days 22 hrs
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