KEEL OVER - nautical saying
Tuesday January 29th, 2013
The phrase to describe a person collapsing either physically or mentally is derived from the nautical term for a vessel capsizing. Hence the keel would move over and above the water and the ship, boat or yacht would be upside down, in great peril. If a person keels over he or she is either sick, drunk, in terrible trouble or, at worst, dead.