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Alternative forms[edit]


From cluster +‎ fuck. Reportedly coined in the 1960s by Hippie poet Ed Sanders as Mongolian Cluster Fuck.



clusterfuck (plural clusterfucks)

  1. (slang, vulgar) A chaotic situation where everything seems to go wrong. It is often caused by incompetence, communication failure, or a complex environment.
    • 1986, Clint Eastwood, Heartbreak Ridge, IMDB tt0091187
      [Colonel Meyers:] That's for sure. What's your assessment of this exercise? [Highway:] It's a cluster fuck.
    • 1989: P. J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell p. 216
      "Mongolian Cluster Fuck" is the technical term journalists use for a preplanned, wholly scripted, news-free event.
    • 1990, Stephen King, Dark Half[1], →ISBN, page 151:
      They had a name for something like this in the army—a cluster fuck. Yes. Good name. ... He was sitting here in the middle of a great big cluster fuck
    • 1994: James O'Barr / Alex Proyas, The Crow
      A simple sweep-and-clear turned into a total clusterfuck: T-Bird, trying to explain to Eric how the situation escalated on Devil's Night []
    • 1995: John Barnes, Mother of Storms
      Please note also my request that henceforth I wish to be reminded of the possibility of a clusterfuck in any contingency plan or operations proposal []
    • 2004, Ray Kopp, Thunder in the Night: A Sailor's Perspective on Vietnam, →ISBN, p. 87
      My cousin was in the Army over here in '68. He says don't trust anybody to know what they're doing, calls it a cluster-fuck. Fucked-up-beyond-all-repair, FUBAR he says.
    • 2004: Jon Stewart, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction
      [] and you will still only begin to get a sense of the constitutionally mandated clusterfuck that is the modern presidency.
    • 2005: Charles W. Sasser, Patton's Panthers: The African-American 761st Tank Battalion in World War II
      It was a clusterfuck, a deadly clusterfuck. When the doughs finally got off the ground in some numbers and charged into the woods, the Krauts broke contact []
    • 2008, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Burn After Reading, IMDB tt0887883
      [CIA-Superior:] Okay. Okay. If he wakes up we'll worry about it then. Jesus, what a clusterfuck.
    • 2013: Barbara Kruger: What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers. I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I’m waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement in response to the Supreme v Married To The Mob battle


Derived terms[edit]



clusterfuck (third-person singular simple present clusterfucks, present participle clusterfucking, simple past and past participle clusterfucked)

  1. (vulgar) To fuck (something) up, to make a total mess of.

See also[edit]