The expression "keel over" primarily refers to someone suddenly collapsing, often due to exhaustion, illness, or being overcome by emotion. It can also refer to something falling or turning over, such as a boat.
"Keel over" primarily means to collapse or faint suddenly, usually because of exhaustion, surprise, or illness.
The phrase "keel over" primarily denotes the abrupt collapse or falling over of a person or object, often portraying a sense of shock or suddenness. In many contexts, it describes someone succumbing to illness, fatigue, or being emotionally overwhelmed.
Let's delve deeper into its core meanings and usage:
There are also some variations and related expressions to "keel over" that you might come across, such as "keel over dead" or "make someone keel over in laughter."
The origins of idioms can often be as colorful as the expressions themselves. "Keel over" is no exception!
The term "keel" originally referred to the central structural basis of a ship. Ships that faced turbulent waters might "keel over, " meaning they would capsize or turn upside down. Over time, this nautical term transitioned into everyday language to describe a sudden collapse, usually of a person.
"The ship did keel o'er and sink" - An old sailor's tale from the 17th century.
Understanding an idiom often requires seeing it in various contexts. Here are some examples to illustrate the use of "keel over":
The idiom "keel over" has been referenced and used in various aspects of popular culture:
Language is rich and versatile. If you want to convey the same idea as "keel over," consider using some of these synonyms:
The main meaning of "keel over" is to collapse or faint suddenly.
No, it can also refer to an object, like a boat, tipping over.
Yes, "keel" originally referred to a ship's structure, and ships that faced difficulties might "keel over."
Yes, "keel over" is understood and used in both American and British English.
It's difficult to pinpoint its exact age, but its nautical origin suggests it's been in use for several centuries.
No, it's considered more informal and is commonly used in everyday speech.
It mostly has a negative or neutral connotation, but it can be used humorously, as in "keeled over laughing."
Yes, there are songs titled "Keel Over" by various artists, such as Quasi.
Yes, many authors use this idiom in their writings to describe a character's sudden collapse or a boat's capsizing.
Yes, the term can be humorously or seriously applied to animals, especially when they suddenly fall asleep or collapse.
"Keel over" is primarily used to depict a sudden fall or collapse, often due to shock, exhaustion, or a medical condition. Whether it's used to describe someone overwhelmed by emotions, experiencing physical distress, or even the sudden failing of an object or system, the term brings a vivid image of abrupt cessation or failure.
Here's a quick wrap-up: