screw up

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Related to screw-up: screw thread, screw over

screw up

1. verb To make a big mistake or blunder; to mishandle or ruin something. I'm sorry, I really screwed up. Please forgive me! Wow, it looks like they really screwed up this time.
2. verb To ruin, damage, or mishandle something, especially inadvertently. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "screw" and "up." I can't believe you screwed that deal up! I screwed up my computer somehow—could you come take a look at it?
3. verb To damage or confuse someone's emotional or mental state. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "screw" and "up." Living with abusive parents really screwed him up. The divorce screwed me up for a long time.
4. verb To interfere with someone or their ability to do something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "screw" and "up." I have to concentrate while I do this, so please don't talk and screw me up!
5. noun A huge mistake, blunder, or mishandling. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated or spelled as one word. Another screwup like that and you're fired! I don't care whose screw-up it was—just fix it!
6. noun A person who is prone to making big mistakes or blunders; someone who can't get anything right. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated or spelled as one word. The way I see it, if you treat someone like a screwup their entire life, they're going to eventually become one. I can't believe he married such a screw-up like that.
See also: screw, up

screw someone or something up

Inf. to interfere with someone or something; to mess up someone or something. Try again and don't screw it up this time. You really screwed up my brother by not being on time.
See also: screw, up

screw someone up

Inf. to confuse someone mentally. Please don't screw me up again! You screwed up my train of thought.
See also: screw, up

screw something up

to attach something to a higher place by the use of screws. The bracket holding the shelf up has come loose. Will you please screw it up again? Please screw up this loose bracket.
See also: screw, up

screw up

 
1. Inf. to mess up. I hope I don't screw up this time. The waiter screwed up again.
2. Inf. a mess; a blunder; utter confusion. (Usually Screw-up.) This is the chef's screw-up, not mine. One more screw-up like that and you're fired.
See also: screw, up

screwed up

Inf. ruined; messed up. This is a really screwed up schedule. Let's start over again. Your schedule is completely screwed up.
See also: screw, up

screw up

1. Muster or summon up; see pluck up one's courage.
2. Make a mess of an undertaking; also, make a mistake, as in I really screwed up this report, or She said she was sorry, admitting that she had screwed up. Some authorities believe this usage is a euphemism for fuck up. [Slang; c. 1940]
3. Injure, damage, as in I screwed up my back lifting all those heavy books. [Slang]
4. Make neurotic or anxious, as in Her family really screwed her up, but her therapist has helped her a lot. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: screw, up

screw up

v. Slang
1. To make a mistake; blunder: I screwed up and delivered the package to the wrong address.
2. To injure, damage, or interfere negatively with something: Lifting those boxes really screwed up my back. I gave them detailed instructions, but they still screwed the project up.
3. To make someone neurotic or mentally disturbed: War can really screw up the survivors. Prison really screwed him up. She was screwed up by her parents' divorce.
4. To twist or deform something: The jester screwed up his face and gave a mocking reply. She screwed her eyes up and tried to read the sign.
5. To muster or summon up something: I screwed up my courage and went out on the stage.
See also: screw, up

screw someone or something up

tv. to interfere with someone or something; to mess up someone or something. Try again and don’t screw it up this time.
See also: screw, someone, something, up

screw up

1. in. to mess up. The waiter screwed up again.
2. n. a mess; a blunder; utter confusion. (see also screwed up.) This is the chef’s screw-up, not mine.
See also: screw, up

screwed up

mod. ruined; messed up. This is a really screwed up schedule. Let’s start over again.
See also: screw, up

screw up, to

To botch, to make a mess of; to make an error. This slangy expression, which some think is a euphemism for the much ruder to fuck up, dates from the 1940s, the period of World War II, and may well have originated in the armed forces. Indeed, the army magazine Yank had it on December 23, 1942, “You screw up on the drill field!You goof off at inspection.” For a synonym from about the same period, see louse up.
See also: screw
References in periodicals archive ?
The slow fire summer of 1970 a laconic freefall is objectively sad but amusing as well: "Just as we had a reputation with some of our own people for being screw-ups so with many of the state people we had a reputation for laziness and moral depravity." "I was truly happy." Hobbs comes across as an unfinished but decent young guy trying on roles a thinker of relativistic adaptability a bit of an eager follower.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NO JOB Because of the incompetence of those doltish bankers - plus the politicians who should have scrutinised their screw-ups - many of us are losing our jobs.
George's slip-ups, screw-ups, snafus, scourge & errors.
Eugene Robinson, who held several newsroom positions during his 28 years at the paper and currently writes a column, said "when we look back, and even now, we will say 'who is a better editor for his time?' Twenty-five Pulitzers and essentially no screw-ups? That is an incredible record."
Well, | just hate to see a grown man cry and seeings-how the main job of a custom gunsmith is to solve any number of screw-ups, I said, "Send it in and let me take a look." You can see by the photos the slide was in really bad shape, and a great deal more than I had suspected.
Lords is reputed to have suffered an infestation of moles; three major sports, three major screw-ups. One of my favoured limericks comes to mind:
After writing about the case for months on his blog, theagitator.com, Balko traveled to the Magnolia State and came away with a terrifying tale of overzealous cops, courtroom blunders, and well-intentioned screw-ups that have resulted in what can only be called a miscarriage of justice.
From the dumb but well-intended screw-ups of dad Peter to wife Lois' blissful oblivion, it's everyone's nightmare family come true.
In the relationship game, instead of banking fuel to keep your spaceship from blowing up, you're banking love for your inevitable screw-ups. Because nothing can end a relationship sooner than having to try to make amends with your lady when you have a low balance in your love bank.
Q: It seems much of the media has responded differently to Katrina than they did to earlier screw-ups by the Bush Administration.
But now that you're the big dog in the Golden State, you keep that cyborg eye of yours peeled for any further screw-ups. The second the fund starts heading for a 180-degree turnaround, you open fire (figuratively, of course) and bite down hard on those in charge.
The screw-ups outwit both the mob and the venture capitalist through some hilarious maneuvers.
She gets her sister out of awful jams and covers for her screw-ups. Her life is coming apart.
Most of us would be classified as problem kids, or screw-ups: people who couldn't hack it in a "normal" high school.
The author relentlessly illustrates the conditions that produce the fatal screw-ups that are so much a part of war, particularly infantry combat.