cock up


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cock up

1. To stand suddenly erect or point quickly upward. The dog's ears cocked up at the strange bang.
2. verb To cause something to stand suddenly erect or point quickly upward. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cock" and "up." Tom cocked his head up, thinking he had heard his name being called.
3. verb, rude slang To ruin or make a mess of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cock" and "up." Primarily heard in UK. Boy, you really cocked up this report—I'm not sure I can even fix it. Go slowly so you don't cock it up like last time!
4. noun, rude slang A very large, glaring failure or mistake. Often spelled with a hyphen or as a single word. Primarily heard in UK. The boss warned me that another cock up like that and I would need to start looking for a new job. The horrible implementation of the new legislation is just another in a long line of cock-ups for this prime minister.
See also: cock, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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