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Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


idioms

What does lose your shirt mean?


Meaning of idioms with examples...

lose your shirt

Definition


If you lose your shirt, you lose all your money as a result of gambling or bad investment.

Origin


This phrase appeared during the 20th century, probably during the great depression. The expression is an exaggeration of what one may lose. When people lose their home, money, or relationships, it would be said that they are left "with nothing but the shirt on your back". However, if they lose even the shirt on their back, then it is an extreme loss that they are experiencing.

A related idiom is to take ‘the shirt of your back’, meaning to take everything one owns or has to offer, as in the following examples:
- He’s so generous that he would give the shirt off his back if he thought it would help.
- They hired a contractor who took the shirt off their back.

Example(s)

- He lost his shirt yesterday playing poker in a casino for the first time.
- Many investors lost their shirts during the last economic recession.

This idiom is in the clothes category


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