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Screwing the pooch

Posted by Lewis on June 25, 2007

In Reply to: Screwing the pooch posted by Bob on June 22, 2007

: : I'm looking for derivation and history of "screwing the pooch", as in "that employee does nothing all day, he is a master of screwing the pooch."

: The phrase was made popular in the book "The Right Stuff" by Tom Wolfe. It's the slang of test pilots, describing one who comes to an untimely (not to mention sudden) end in a plane crash.

I heard it used in "true lies" where an intelligence worker is asked about the success of a mission and replies that there is a continuum of success from absolute success at one end to a complete "pooch-screw" at the other.

I assumed that the origin must have something to do with accidentally having carnal relations with a dog and am none the wiser for knowing that Tom Wolfe popularised it.