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[foul-uhp] /ˈfaʊlˌʌp/
noun, Informal.
a condition of difficulty or disorder brought on by inefficiency, stupidity, etc.
failure of a mechanical part to operate correctly.
a person who habitually makes mistakes; bungler.
Origin of foul-up
1950-55, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase foul up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for foul-up
Historical Examples
  • Apparently the foul-up is on the other side of the firewall.

    The Bramble Bush Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He worked on the line next to Ernie, and had witnessed the foul-up this morning.

    All Day Wednesday Richard Olin
Slang definitions & phrases for foul-up



  1. A confused, tangled, hopeless situation; botch: It's supposed to be a concert series, but it's a total foul-up
  2. person who consistently blunders; bungler; fuck-up: Why put that notorious foul-up in charge?

[1940s+; a euphemism for fuck-up]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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