screw up (screwed-up)
- slang depicting that a mistake was made
- very puzzled, confused or worried
- to ruin something
- to make something into a smaller shape by compacting it
- to mentally prepare yourself for something
- to become mentally confused or neurotic
- to damage or injure yourself
- I really screwed up this time. My wife will never forgive me for forgetting her birthday.
- You screwed up when you called your boss by the wrong name.
- I screwed up the cake when I forgot to add eggs to it.
- He screwed up the television by pressing random buttons on the remote.
- Mom, Johnny screwed up my painting and threw it in the fire!
- He needs to screw up the courage to ask her out.
- Getting divorced has really screwed him up.
- I screwed up my knee when I tripped over that brick last weekend.
This is a relatively new term and has only gained popularity since the mid-1900s. One of the first recorded uses of the phrase meaning “to blunder” can be traced to 1942.
It has a few “dirty” connotations that has been around since the 1700s. However, there is no definitive source that tells us where the current phrase originated from.