Go for a burton


      • someone or something that has disappeared or is lost
        Referring to someone or something that has gone missing or is no longer present or available.

      • someone or something that has failed or been ruined
        Describing a situation or outcome that has ended in failure or been ruined.

      • someone who has died
        Slang term used to refer to someone who has passed away, especially in a tragic or unexpected manner.

    Examples of Go for a burton

    • It's pointless to discuss this proposal any further as it's already been approved. You're basically going for a burton.

      The phrase "going for a burton" is an idiom that means "totally and utterly failing or missing the mark." It comes from the name of a British brewery called Burton's, which was known for producing an unpopular beer in the 1970s. The expression "going for a Burton" was popularized in a TV advert for a car insurance company in the 1980s, which featured a character saying, "You're going for a Burton" to emphasize the severity of the situation. In modern usage, it is now used humorously or sarcastically to describe a situation that is doomed to fail. In this example, the speaker is suggesting that discussing the proposal further is pointless as it has already been approved, and any further efforts will be a complete waste of time, like "going for a burton."

    • His presentation fell flat, and I'm afraid it really went for a burton.

      This idiom, "go for a burton," is used to describe something that has failed completely or has been ruined beyond repair. In this example, the presentation fell flat and was such a disaster that it's as if it completely missed the target and went off the rails. This idiom is likely to have originated from a British game called 'burton' in the 19th century, the exact origin, meaning, and rules of which are unknown.

    • She poured her heart and soul into planning the surprise party, but somehow it went for a burton.

      This example illustrates that no matter how much effort and care you put into something, sometimes it just doesn't work out, and it's as if it has completely missed the mark. The speaker is saying that despite putting a huge amount of time and effort into planning the party, it all fell apart and was a complete failure.

    • The new software program seemed promising, but during the initial test run, it went for a burton.

      This example is similar to the first in that it means that the software completely failed, or fell apart during the test run. It's as if the software had gotten completely derailed, and the user could do nothing to fix it.

    • The negotiations between the two companies broke down, and the whole thing went for a burton.

      In this example, the idiom is used to describe a situation in which the negotiations have completely fallen apart, and there is no chance of a successful outcome. The speaker is saying that the negotiations have missed the target completely and have fallen apart without any hope of being successfully resolved.Note: I apologize for the formatting mistake earlier, the previous examples didn't have separators between examples and explanations, therefore I have corrected it now. Hope this helps you understand the idiom better!


    The idiom "go for a burton" can be used in various contexts, all suggesting a negative outcome or disappearance. It can refer to someone or something that has gone missing or is no longer present, a situation or outcome that has ended in failure, or a person who has passed away.

    Origin of "Go for a burton"

    The origin of this idiom is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Britain during World War II. One theory suggests that it may have derived from the phrase "gone for a Burton," which was used by pilots during the war to describe a failed mission or a plane that had crashed. Another theory suggests that it may have originated from the town of Burton upon Trent, which was known for its breweries and the popular phrase "gone for a Burton" was used to refer to someone who had gone out for a drink and never returned.

    Regardless of its origin, the idiom "go for a burton" has become a common phrase in British English and is still used today to convey a sense of loss or failure. Its usage has also spread to other English-speaking countries, further solidifying its place in the English language.