What it is:
In the finance world, a company goes belly up when it declares bankruptcy or goes out of business.
How it works (Example):
Let’s assume Company XYZ’sfalls from $10 per share to 50 cents per share due to a series of internal scandals and product failures. The company files for a week later. In this situation, we would say that Company XYZ went belly up.
Why it Matters:
The financial world seems to have its own language sometimes. In this case, the slangevolved from the fact that when creatures die, they tend to fall on their backs, with their bellies facing up.