Gone for a Toss: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 25, 2023

The expression "gone for a toss" conveys that something has been upset, ruined, or thrown into disarray. It's similar to stating, "Things have taken a wrong turn." Drawing from the unpredictability of tossing an object without a specific direction, this idiom can be applied in diverse situations, from unexpected personal setbacks to unanticipated complications in professional endeavors.

In short:

  • "Gone for a toss" generally indicates that something has gone wrong or plans have been disrupted.

What Does "Gone for a Toss" Mean?

The phrase "gone for a toss" is derived from someone throwing something in the air. But figuratively speaking:

  • It suggests that a plan or situation has been spoiled or disrupted.
  • It indicates unexpected problems or challenges.
  • It can imply a feeling of surprise or an unexpected turn of events.

So, if someone says their plans have gone for a toss, they likely mean their plans have been upset or have faced an unforeseen hurdle.

Where Does "Gone for a Toss" Come From?

The phrase's origin is somewhat murky, but it's widely believed to have roots in cricket, a popular sport in many countries. In cricket, the "toss" decides which team bats or bowls first.

"The toss of a coin can change the entire course of the game."

Over time, the phrase evolved to describe any unpredictably wrong situation, not just a cricket match.

10 Examples of "Gone for a Toss" in Sentences

This idiom's versatility is evident when used in various contexts. Here are ten sentences to demonstrate its adaptability:

  • Ever since the manager resigned, our project has gone for a toss.
  • I had planned a surprise, but the rain made it all go for a toss.
  • Don't get your hopes up. The weather forecast suggests rain for the weekend, so our picnic plans might have gone for a toss.
  • With the unexpected expenses this month, my budget has gone for a toss.
  • I tried to salvage the project but to no avail. All our efforts have gone for a toss due to the unexpected system crash.
  • My plans for the weekend have gone for a toss, but I've decided just to let it be and see what comes my way.
  • His abrupt decision made their weekend plans go for a toss.
  • No offense meant, but our timelines have gone for a toss ever since you took over the project.
  • The team's poor performance made their winning streak go for a toss.
  • After the unexpected budget cuts, our marketing plans had gone for a toss. However, we hope to get things back on track with the new investment.

Examples of "Gone for a Toss" in Pop Culture

While the phrase might have roots in sports, its presence is felt in various pop culture references:

  • The song "Everything's Gone for a Toss" by The Rebels.
  • In the movie "Rain Check," the protagonist says, "My whole life has gone for a toss."

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Gone for a Toss"

  • Gone haywire
  • Thrown off track
  • Upset the apple cart
  • Thrown into disarray
  • Put out of order

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Gone for a Toss":

  • Is "gone for a toss" specific to any region?

It's commonly used in British and Indian English.

  • Is it informal?

Yes, it's more colloquial and might not be ideal for very formal situations.

  • Can it be used in written form?

Yes, especially in casual writings like blogs or fiction.

  • Does it always indicate something negative?

Generally, yes. It typically refers to disruptions or unforeseen challenges.

  • Can "going for a toss" be used?

Yes, depending on the context and sentence structure.

  • Is it related to "take a toss"?

No, "take a toss" isn't a recognized idiom in the same vein.

  • Can it describe a person's state of mind?

Indirectly, yes. For example, "After hearing the news, my mind went for a toss."

  • Do other languages have a similar idiom?

Many languages have idioms indicating disruption, but the exact phrasing varies.

  • What's the opposite of "gone for a toss"?

Phrases like "on track" or "going smoothly" convey opposite sentiments.

  • Is it always about plans getting disrupted?

Mostly, but it can also describe things, situations, or even emotions getting disrupted.

Final Thoughts About "Gone for a Toss"

"Gone for a toss" is a versatile phrase indicating disruption, unexpected challenges, or things going awry. Whether you're discussing plans that didn't pan out, describing an event that disrupted the usual flow, or expressing surprise at a sudden turn of events, "gone for a toss" captures the essence of unpredictability and deviation from the norm. It's a go-to expression when things just don't go as planned.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • It offers a cultural glimpse into the societies that use them.
  • It provides a creative way to convey everyday human experiences.
  • It allows speakers to express complex situations succinctly.

While it's essential to understand their meanings and origins, it's equally vital to use them aptly, ensuring communication remains clear and engaging.

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