"It's Gone All Pear-Shaped!"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Jun 4 17:05:28 UTC 2002

On Tue, Jun 04, 2002 at 12:57:36PM -0400, Mark A Mandel wrote:
> Someone asked on a newsgroup about the origin of the phrase "gone all
> pear-shaped":
>         >>>
> I know *what* this phrase means, at least from context--an expression
> for a plan gone awry.  (BBC America shows Ground Force, where I heard
> Alan Titchmarsh utter it.)
>         <<<

The OED files on this suggest that the phrase _go pear-shaped_
'go wrong; go amiss' is originally R.A.F. slang.

> Any data or other reasonable ideas? (Note: If replying off-list [though
> why would you?], remove the obvious spam-blocker from my edress.)

Either my ability to detect spam has gone quite pear-shaped, or you
need to reconfigure your mailer to make sure your desired spam-
blocker is indeed included as part of your address.

Jesse Sheidlower

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