Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fuck up v.

[ext. use of fuck v. (2)]

1. to ruin, to destroy; to make a mess of; thus fucker-up n., that which ruins or destroys.

[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 51: And they’ll call up all the women / When they’ve fucked up all the men.
[US]H. Miller Roofs of Paris (1983) 248: You and Sid are going to fuck up everything.
[UK]K. Amis letter 9 Mar. in Leader (2000) 201: I’m just not interested in all that guff about man fucking himself up.
[US]J. Blake letter 21 June in Joint (1972) 22: I pointed out to him that he and his shillelah had put the heat on but good and fucked me up for fair.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 273: Dallas fucks up everything.
[UK]P. Larkin ‘This Be the Verse’ in Coll. Poems (1988) 180: They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 35: Fidel sure fucked up a good thing.
[Aus]B. Ellem Doing Time 158: [T]he first [prison] sentence, well it fucked my marriage up for one thing.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 25: You’re fucking up on a regular basis.
[Aus]G. Disher Crosskill [ebook] ‘[Y]ou could fuck up’.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 167: He fucks up my high.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 21: Every [reorganisation] they undertake fucks things up even worse than before.
[UK]Observer Rev. 9 Jan. 2: You fucked up the act!
[Scot]L. McIlvanney All the Colours 292: ‘[H]e fucked things up for you in Belfast’.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 146: You’re twenny-three years old. You got plenny time to fuck up your life.
[Aus]G. Disher Kill Shot [ebook] He’d want to fuck up Tremayne’s plans.
[US]I. Fitzgerald Dirtbag, Massachusetts 60: There waas nothing to do [...] but fuck, get fucked up. or fuck somebody else up.

2. to confuse, to confound.

[US] in T. Shibutani Derelicts of Company K (1978) 133: In another circle the conversation took on a similar tone: [...] ‘I’ll bet that fuckin’ CO stays awake every night tryin’ to think up some new way to fuck us up.’.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 17: As long as we [...] fuck up Boss Charley.
[Aus] in K. Gilbert Living Black 145: Well, I can fuck a man up, a white man or a lawyer or a judge.
[Ire]R. Doyle Commitments 72: Hash is out, said Jimmy [...] It fucks up your head.
[US]T. Willocks Green River Rising 83: I’d’ve known ’bout it I would have fucked him up for sure.

3. to blunder, to make a mistake.

[US]N. Mailer letter 30 Apr. in Selected Letters (2014) 17: If you do something wrong or make a botch of a job it is called ‘fucking-up’.
[US]H. Ellison ‘With a Knife in her Hand’ in Deadly Streets (1983) 127: Now, don’t nobody fuck up or I’ll smack a coupla heads.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 35: He thinks about his every little action, but usually fucks it up anyway.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 144: He didn’t stay there long, because he kept fucking up, right and left.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle 44: We don’t plan to hurt you or anybody else, unless somebody fucks up.
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 14: I hope you fuck up. I hate you Puerto Rican cocksuckers.
[Aus]G. Disher Paydirt [ebook] ‘Looks like the boss fucked up’.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 9 July 14: I kept fucking up for 20 years because I was nervous.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 114: Shur, yeh, we all fuck up oncer twice, bu’ sumtimes just once’s enough te ruin yer ole fuckin life so ut is.
[UK]D. O’Donnell Locked Ward (2013) 310: ‘Oh, you’ve fucked up good this time,’ whispered John.
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 359: ‘That’s great.’ ‘It will be if I don’t fuck it up’.
[Ire]L. McInerney Glorious Heresies 21: His mother [...] had fucked up, and for once in his life, Jimmy felt a weak spot.
[Aus]G. Disher Consolation 76: The fallout when a man fucks up.

4. (US black) to fool around.

[US]U. Hannerz Soulside 62: ‘I earn good money, you know, with those two jobs [...] So this means I got a lot to spend just fucking up.’ .
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 225: Man, you fucked up on me.

5. (US black) to waste.

[US]S.A. Williams ‘Tell Martha Not to Moan’ in Cade Black Woman (1970) 52: Baby, you done fucked up fifty dollars on nonessentials.

6. (orig. US black) to hurt, to injure, to kill.

[US] ‘Badman Dan and Two-Gun Green’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 129: Well, I’ll fuck you up with a cause. / I’ll fuck your whore and make you drop your drawers.
[UK]J. Carr Bad (1995) 68: They picked up the bats [...] went after a knot of guards, and fucked them up bad.
[WI]M. Thelwell Harder They Come 246: When I have to fuck up a man, I doan smoke no weed that day, y’know.
[US]Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 12: Marsellus fucked his ass up good.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 88: Ronald had to fuck a couple of them up.
[US]G. Pelecanos Drama City 103: He didn’t talking about [...] fucking dudes up, killing bitches in the bed.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 170: If they caught you out of line, man, they’d fuck you up.
[Aus]C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] Fucked him up completely. Never got over it.
[US](con. 1991-94) W. Boyle City of Margins 107: ‘So we shake him down for the ten, fuck him up if he can’t pay?’.

7. to cause (practical or emotional) problems for someone.

[UK]N. Dunn Poor Cow 117: Right fuck you, I’ll fuck you up one day.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle 21: Never trust a goddamned nigger [...] They’ll fuck you up every time.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 92: You want to fuck them [i.e. a street gang] up a little, Eddie? Bet you [...] they got their tools on them.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 6: There’s cabs everywhere fuckin’ each other up.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 45: Our Client is free to sell your property and fuck you up.
[US]N. Walker Cherry 17: She gave head to Mark Fuller [...] It fucked me up when I found out.
[Aus]C. Hammer Opal Country 53: ‘It [i.e. the aftermath of a car crash] fucked ’em up, both of them.
[US]Rayman & Blau Riker’s 109: [Y]ou now put him on the list of be fucked and you not only fuck with him; you pass word to all your friends that are on staff, ‘When you see him, fuck with him.’ That’s bad. People would literally go over there and just start fucking that boy up for no reason.

8. to make drunk or drugged; usu. as fucked up adj. (3)

9. to infect with a venereal disease.

[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 174: Told you this whole motherfucking projects had to go to the clinic. I tell them I had an infection. I mess with this one and he got a girlfriend. I done fucked up that whole building.

10. to go wrong, to malfunction, to break down.

[Aus]L. Davies Candy 55: She told them the job had fucked up, that the guy had got freaked and cancelled.

In derivatives

unfuckupable (adj.)

impossible to spoil.

[Scot]L. McIlvanney All the Colours 38: Pasta and smoked haddock [...] it’s something I can do, something quick and unfuckupable that the boys appear to like.

In phrases

fuck up someone’s pussy (v.)

see under pussy n.