As far as I know, "fucked up" usually means something like "made a mistake".

But what I'd like to know is if "fucked up" can be used with the meaning of "fucked", or in a terrible situation.


  • The city is fucked up.
  • The city is fucked.

Does it mean a different thing, or isn't it "valid English" at all?

  • 1
    @Silenus "made a mistake" is not the same thing as "messed up". "The city is fucked up." Does not mean "The city is making a mistake." i.e. Oh man, I got so fucked up last night. Yeah, dude you were totally messed up. Why make such a trivial edit?
    – ColleenV
    Jul 28 '16 at 15:47
  • "messed up" is ambiguous. It can mean "made a mistake" (as in "I messed up") or something like "terrible" (as in "Yo, that's messed up.") I was just trying to correct the ambiguity.
    – DyingIsFun
    Jul 28 '16 at 15:49
  • 1
    @ColleenV did you mean to say "The city is fucked up." does not mean "The city is making a mistake."? Because it doesn't. Jul 28 '16 at 15:50
  • Thanks Max. @Silenus it's not ambiguous if you read the entire question.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 28 '16 at 15:51
  • 1
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    – MetaEd
    Jul 28 '16 at 16:53

Both are valid english, while obviously colloquial.

The meaning is similar in this context, but not quite the same. Used as an adjective, "fucked up" means "in a mess", or "in a bad state", whereas "fucked" means "irreperably messed up", "severely broken" or "doomed".

In this sense, "fucked" is worse than "fucked up". "Fucked up" implies that it could still be fixed, whereas "fucked" implies that it's beyond repair.

The "doomed" meaning of "fucked" can be seen in various contexts - eg on learning that your company was probably going to go bankrupt, you might say to your colleague "Man, we're fucked.", meaning "We're doomed - we can't recover from this."

"Fucked up" (adjective) can also mean "severely intoxicated", from drugs or alcohol, and in fact "fucked" can be used in this context too, eg "I can't even remember getting to the club, I was so fucked by that point".

And, as you say in your first sentence, "fucked up" the verb can be subsituted for "messed up", meaning "made a mistake", in any context, so you could describe making a mistake like "I really fucked up last night, I'm sorry", meaning "I made a terrible mistake last night, I'm sorry."


The city is fucked (doomed) , the city is fucked up (messed up, in a state of confusion)

Fucked adjective

  • Confounded; victimized; buggered, damned: I'll be fucked if he's not right! (1940s+)

Fucked up:

  • A level of status. Typically used in reference to being physically, mentally, morally/ asthetically, performance-wise, or even theoretically damaged in some way. It, in and of itself has many gradient levels, such as 'slightly fucked up', or 'extremely fucked up', but all versions have to do with describing the level of damage. A wonderfully universal root word, to be sure.
    1. (physical): "Ow! Man, I just fucked up my thumb by slamming it with my hammer!"
    2. (mentally): "That chick is SO fucked up, she ate a full ounce of magic mushrooms!"
    3. (morally/ asthetically): "See that landscaping feature? Now THAT is fucked up! Anyone with half a brain wouldn't do that!"
    4. (performance-wise): "This horse's lap time is so fucked up, I could wak around the track faster than him!"
    5. (theoretically): "Naw, man...that would be so fucked up if you did that!"

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