Does “things went south” sound offensive for someone from the Southern United States?

As a non-native speaker I’ve been using this phrase without thinking about how neutral it is actually. In Russian, for instance, we have “незваный гость хуже татарина” (an uninvited guest is worser than a Tatar) and someone who’ll say something like this in Tatarstan or Bashkortostan can offense people.

So, should I avoid phrase with “went south” in specific regions of USA?


Apparently it is not an offensive expression:

go south (v.):

“vanish, abscond,” 1920s, American English, probably from mid-19c. notion of disappearing south to Mexico or Texas to escape pursuit or responsibility, reinforced by Native American belief (attested in colonial writing mid-18c.) that the soul journeys south after death. (Etymonline)

Usage note:

This idiom is constructed with a variety of terms, all consisting of a verb indicating movement and a direction indicating the movement is to the south (southerly, southward, etc.) The exact construction may be modified to fit the circumstances. (Wiktionary)

Source : Link , Question Author : shabunc , Answer Author : user 66974

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