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three skips of a louse

obsolete Some infinitesimal or trivial amount. Sir, I care not even three skips of a louse for the censures of a reprobate such as yourself.
See also: louse, of, skip, three

louse (someone or something) up

To ruin, spoil, mess up, or bungle someone or something. Her sudden decision to quit in the middle of the project really loused us up. I am not letting your crummy attitude louse up my vacation—if you want to be grouch, you can go somewhere else and do it alone!
See also: louse, up

louse someone or something up

Inf. to ruin something; to mess someone or something up. You really loused me up! You got me in a real mess! Who loused up my scheme?
See also: louse, up

louse up

Spoil, ruin, bungle. For example, The bad weather loused up our plans, or Your change of mind really loused me up. This slangy expression originated in World War I, when infestation with lice was the common lot of soldiers in the trenches; its figurative use dates from the 1930s.
See also: louse, up

louse up

To cause something to fail because of poor handling; botch something: The president loused up the merger, costing the company millions of dollars. Let me tell the story—you always louse it up.
See also: louse, up


n. a thoroughly repellent person, usually a male. You can be such a louse!

louse something up

tv. to botch something up. Please don’t louse the typewriter ribbon up this time.
See also: louse, something, up

louse (something) up, to

To ruin or botch, to blunder. Undoubtedly alluding to the unhappy condition of being “loused up,” that is, infested with lice, this slangy term dates from the first half of the 1900s. At first it was used as a transitive verb, as in John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra, “Lousing up your date.” A decade or two later it was also being used intransitively, as in “Don’t trust her with the reservations; she’s sure to louse up.”
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