The Closet Moderate: On Language

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Language

to screw the pooch (v)

1. to screw up; to fail in dramatic and ignominious fashion

I'm kind of fascinated by this phrase, because it's both so evocative and almost completely without stigma. The motivating idea is that you've gone so wrong while executing a fairly basic human activity that you're earnestly humping away at the family dog. You'd think a casual mention of bestiality in public would provoke a great deal of shock, but it's almost quaint, the sort of thing you could drop into a conversation with grandma.

Compare:

"Wow, Jim, you really screwed the pooch in that Raytheon meeting."

with

"Jim, let me explain your performance in that Raytheon meeting with a quick visual analogy: what I was expecting was a crisp Powerpoint presentation. What I got was an eyeful of your dick as you used it to violate a canine, repeatedly."

Shocking.

3 comments:

Fake Steve Hawking said...

Yeah. My dad was really into this one for a while. I guess it's pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of things he says, but I have heard much more reasonable people say it too. Weird.

Silent Cal said...

I thought that the expression "shoot your wad" was dirty for a while, but it apparently refers to cannon wadding, not semen. Still, I think most people who use it do so without knowing this.

Statler said...

Shoot your wad is actually the inverse. It has an innocuous root, but is widely understood to be a salacious phrase.