screw up v.
1. to cheat, to defraud; to drive a very hard bargain.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: To Screw one up, to exact upon one, or Squeeze one in a Bargain or Reckoning.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: To screw one up; to exact upon one in a bargain or reckoning.|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Dec. 9/3: One of the banks in Brisbane, well known for its liberality in the screwing up line [etc].|
2. to imprison [screw n.1 (2)].
|Life in London (1869) 255: If I am ever screwed up within these walls, I hope you will not forget to call and see an old friend.|
3. to make trouble, to cause difficulties for.
|It Is Never Too Late to Mend II 96: However what finally screwed up my stocking altogether gents, was their taking away my gas.|
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 216: He says that strike screwed us up good.|
|Alcoholics (1993) 81: You screwed me up at what you thought would be your last opportunity.|
|How to Talk Dirty 11: Oh God, the movies really did screw us up.|
|Jones Men 151: You won’t have to worry about this guy [...] screwing you up.|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] She’ll screw you up, you mark my words.‘The Second Time Around’|
|Golden Orange (1991) 247: I don’t want you screwin me up jist because you gone loopy over some little squeeze.|
|Guardian Rev. 24 Sept. 3: He apologised [...] for getting addicted to hard drugs and screwing up the group.|
|www.asstr.org [Internet] ‘What’s up, Dionne? Don’t you like being screwed the way you’ve screwed up all other mugs who’ve trusted you?’ she sneers.‘Dead Beard’ at|
|Insidious Intent (2018) 121: Most alcoholics [...] screwed up the lives of everybpody who cared about them.|
4. to garrotte [SE screw up, to tighten].
|Vocabulum 77: screwing up Choking; garroting. ‘Screw up the bloke, and that will stop his blasted red rag from chanting beef,’ choke the man, and that will prevent him from crying ‘stop thief.’.|
|Autobiog. of a Gipsey 419: Favouring me with a few practical illustrations of his manual dexterity in the performance of such delicate little operations as ‘cross-fanning,’ ‘screwing-up,’ and taking a letter from the inside breast-pocket of my coat.|
5. (orig. US) to make a mess, to blunder badly.
|I Can Get It For You Wholesale 72: Well, this was the last time Tootsie Maltz would ever have to screw up the works for me.|
|Walk in Sun 28: If we hang around here any longer we’ll screw up the whole works.|
|Long Wait (1954) 140: You’re screwing the works up pretty nicely.|
|(con. 1920s) South of Heaven (1994) 37: You’re about to do something to screw yourself up.|
|Pimp 47: His voice-box screwed up on him a ‘dime’ ago.|
|Grease 91: You really did it this time, huh? [...] you not only screwed up with Sandy again, but you got yourself wired into team tryouts.|
|Close Pursuit (1988) 37: Along every step of the way there was ample opportunity to screw up royally.|
|Source Oct. 154: If you vouch for a player and he or she screws up [...] you’re responsible.|
|Guardian G2 20 Jan. 10: If no one takes responsibility for them, of course they are going to screw up.|
|in Life 285: ‘Stop sniveling, boy. You wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t screwed up’.|
|Baltimore Sun (MD) 7 May T11/1: I screwed up.|
6. (US) to confuse, to perturb.
|(con. 1940s) Hold Tight (1990) 156: That circus queen was sure one sick woman [...] she was out to screw your head up.|
7. to hurt, to put out of order, to destroy.
|Camino Real Block Twelve: This filing system is screwed up six ways from next Sunday ... File this crap under crap!|
|Where the Boys Are 191: If you think I’ll screw up the last two days of my vacation for a stunt as Boy Scout and yo-yo as this, you are stark raving.|
|Bonfire of the Vanities 383: I used to like to run [...] but all that pounding up and down screwed up my back.|
|Robbers (2001) 31: Screwed up a shitload of computers, too.|
(US) to get involved with, associated with.
|Hell’s Angels (1967) 117: Man, when you were fifteen or sixteen years old did you ever think you’d end up as a Hell’s Angel? How did I get screwed up with you guys anyway?|