I'm familiar with the word pooch as a cute synonym of doggy, but here is pooch used as a verb:

It was just a poorly done deal and it just so happens to be the biggest deal ever for Nasdaq and they pooched it, that's the bottom line here," said Joe Saluzzi, the co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

Is this a common usage of the word in US English? Or is it just an example of a Wall Street trader abusing our language?

Full article here.


3 Answers 3


My first thought was that this is probably a shortening of the phrase to screw the pooch.

(idiomatic) to screw up; to fail in dramatic and ignominious fashion

But Wiktionary also has a listing for pooched as an adjective, with no mention of the longer phrase:

(slang) made unusable; broken; buggered (British)

I would say this is not a common use of the word in US English, but that most American readers would get the meaning here.

  • 1
    Well, screwing the pooch may often result in it becoming buggered.
    – kotekzot
    May 22, 2012 at 12:05
  • 2
    Screwed the pooch sounds about right. Also, there seems to be a consensus that pooch itself has a US origin. Eg: guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-27673,00.html. And I've never heard pooched here in the UK so I don't find the wiktionary entry very credible, as there are no quotes or citations given there.
    – z7sg Ѫ
    May 22, 2012 at 12:13
  • @z7sgѪ: I just edited my answer after realizing that Wiktionary is indicating that buggered is British, not pooched. May 22, 2012 at 12:15
  • I first heard pooched from a Canadian. I've now heard it a few times from other Americans but it seems uncommon in my experience (US midwest). May 22, 2012 at 14:46
  • +1 screwed the pooch was my first thought having first heard it on the East Coast.
    – user14070
    May 22, 2012 at 16:33

According to OED.com, pooch exists as a verb in American Football.

trans. To kick (a ball) a short distance towards the opposition's linemen rather than the designated receiver; to make a pooch kick. Also intr.

So it could be related to that - but pooching in this instance is a deliberate action, and is intended to make the ball difficult to handle. The reported mess up at NASDAQ seems to be a mistake. So I would still think this is related to screw the pooch.


In the movie "Dogma," one of the characters mentions that a certain complication could "still pooch the deal," meaning it could still cause the plan not to work.

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