[Ads-l] "go pear-shaped"

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Sun Oct 26 20:12:28 UTC 2014

I'm familiar with this as a BrE expression, and somewhere (maybe on 
Grant Barrett and Martha Barnett's "A Way with Words", or maybe in an 
talk or interview with David Crystal) I heard that it referred to the 
shape an aircraft might briefly make as it crashes into something.


On 10/26/2014 11:46 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "go pear-shaped"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 10/26/2014 07:19 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> ... 'Go bad,' for some reason. (Not just figuratively "sag into into a pear
>> shape," as one might imagine.)  ...
> But I'm told it's healthier to go pear-shaped than to go
> apple-shaped.  OED, s.v. "applie-shaped:
> 1990   Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne) (Nexis) 4 Feb.,   Women who are
> 'apple-shaped' are at a significantly greater risk of developing
> breast cancer than those who are 'pear-shaped', according to a new
> study in the US.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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Dr. Neal Whitman
Lecturer, ESL Composition
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