Green’s Dictionary of Slang

screw-up n.

[screw up v.]
(orig. US)

1. of an object, plan or scheme, a disaster, a failure.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 187/2: Screw-up, n. A mix-up; any disruption of plans as the result of a blunder, treachery, or ill luck.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 11: Till you start losing a few grand on a screw-up?
[US](con. 1920s) J. Thompson South of Heaven (1994) 73: We don’t want another screw-up in the morning.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 14: Everybody knew [...] that the rational mind was a screw-up.
[US]C. Heath A-Team 2 (1984) 64: I’m sure it was a screw-up at the flowershop.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 308: It was your screw-up [...] You should have Grand Juried her.
[US]N. Johnson ‘Corpse by Any Other Name’ in Pulp Ink [ebook] Okay, looks like you took care of that particular screw-up.
[UK]Vanity Fair 16 Mar. [Internet] Using the easily traceable Mercedes instead was a major screwup.

2. of a person, a failure, an incompetent.

[US]‘Richard Hooker’ M*A*S*H (2004) 133: We’re just a bunch of screwups from up the line.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U.
[UK]Guardian Guide 29 May–4 June 52: These three screw-ups have survived every kind of [...] calamity known to man.
[US]F.X. Toole Pound for Pound 319: That kind of thinkin makes you a screw-up.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 82: I’m not half the screwup I probably sound like.