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Lose one's shirt

To lose one’s shirt is to lose all that one possesses – even one’s shirt.

  • He tried his luck in stock market without understanding anything about trading and almost lost his shirt. (= He lost a lot of money.)
  • He almost lost his shirt when the film he produced failed at the box office.
  • If you don’t invest more wisely, you will lose your shirt.
  • “Could you lend me $200?” “I’m afraid not. I just lost my shirt in gambling.”

To keep one’s shirt on is to remain calm.

  • Tell him to keep his shirt on until dinner is ready.
  • I will be ready in five minutes. Keep your shirt on.

The expression keep your pants on has the same meaning.

  • You’re next. Keep your pants on.

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