screw the pooch

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1950s, from earlier fuck the dog ‎(fritter, waste time) (1935) (compare fuck around), later sense of “make an embarrassing mistake” (compare screw up, fuck up). Popularized by use by Tom Wolfe in The Right Stuff (1979), and film adaptation The Right Stuff (1983).[1]

Verb[edit]

screw the pooch ‎(third-person singular simple present screws the pooch, present participle screwing the pooch, simple past and past participle screwed the pooch)

  1. (idiomatic) To screw up; to fail in dramatic and ignominious fashion.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Reporter Said “Screw the Pooch” on Face the Nation. Where Does That Phrase Come From?’, by Ben Zimmer, Slate, Jan. 14 2014