from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- verb idiomatic to
screw up; to failin dramaticand ignominiousfashion
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
The term was first documented in the early "Mercury" days of the US space program. It came there from a Yale graduate named John Rawlings who helped design the astronauts' space suits. The phrase is actually a bastardization of an earlier, more vulgar and direct term which was slang for doing something very much the wrong way, as in "you are fucking the dog!" At Yale a friend of Rawlings', the radio DJ Jack May (a.k.a. "Candied Yam Jackson") amended this term to "screwing the pooch" which was simultaneously less vulgar and more pleasing to the ear.
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