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- From the image of a solid rectangle 'slipping down' into a pear shape, thus 'the bottom drops out'.
- Presumably from the image of a balloon or football losing its spherical shape after puncturing.
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- (Britain, New Zealand, idiomatic) To go wrong; to go awry. [from 1990s]
- 2017, Eric A Meyer; Estelle Weyl, CSS: The Definitive Guide: Visual Presentation for the Web, Kindle edition, O'Reilly Media, page 697:
- There are a few cases that need to be covered, as they fall under the general umbrella of “what grids do when things go pear-shaped.”
- go pear-shaped at OneLook Dictionary Search