Scuppered a deal

Posted by Masakim on February 20, 2002

In Reply to: Scuppered a deal posted by Word Camel on February 20, 2002

: : "He alleges that Microsoft scuppered a 1998 deal with Compaq to produce..."

: : Anyone know what "scuppered" means?

: I looked up scupper in an American dictionary where it explains that a scupper is a nautical term for the holes at the side of a ship that allow the water to run off.

: I have also heard it used to describe destroying a ship - if not by sinking than grounding. "After passengers ceased to visit the aging steam boat, the owners scuppered it."

: So in the sentence you gave, it means that Microsoft deliberately destroyed the deal with Compac. And as it happens, that's completely consistent with Microsoft.

: I suspect the Brits will find this use of scuppered in their dictionaries and it will be in the OED of course.

_The Oxford English Reference Dictionary_ gives:

Brit. sl.
1 sink (a ship or its crew).
2 defeat or ruin (a plan etc.).
3 kill.[19th c.: orig. unkn.]

Of course, even Microsoft's _Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition_ gives: .

scup·per 2 [skuppr ] (past scup·pered, past participle scup·pered, present participle scup·per·ing, 3rd person present singular scup·pers) transitive verb
1. NAUTICAL sink ship: to sink a ship, especially to sink your own vessel intentionally
2. wreck or ruin something: to wreck, defeat, or ruin something
[Late 19th century. Origin uncertain: perhaps from scupper1.]