Why do people say screwed the pooch?
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!"
screw you. (vulgar) A slightly less offensive version of fuck you. You'll just lie in your bed all day rather than help us? Well, screw you. Screw you—go annoy someone else!
- Slang meaning "to copulate" dates from at least 1725, originally usually of the action of the male, on the notion of driving a screw into something. Meaning "defraud, cheat" is from 1900. First recorded 1949 in exclamations as a euphemism. Related: Screwed; screwing. To screw up "blunder" is recorded from 1942.
- adjective. If you say that someone is screwed up, you mean that they are very confused or worried, or that they have psychological problems. [informal] He was really screwed up with his emotional problems.
- — phrasal verb with mess uk ? /mes/ us ? /mes/ verb. to treat someone in a bad, rude, or annoying way, or to start an argument with someone: I've warned you already, don't mess with me! Treating people or animals badly. a raw deal idiom.
Updated: 2nd October 2019