Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
mid-13c., "cow dung and vegetable matter spread as manure," from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse myki, mykr "cow dung," Danish møg, from Proto-Germanic *muk-, *meuk- "soft." Meaning "unclean matter generally" is from c.1300. Muck-sweat first attested 1690s.
late 14c., "to dig in the ground," also "to remove manure," early 15c., "to spread manure, cover with muck," from muck (n.). Meaning "to make dirty" is from 1832; in the figurative sense, "to make a mess of," it is from 1886; to muck about "mess around" is from 1856. Related: Mucked; mucking.
To damage; ruin; fuck up: And let's not muck up our public spaces before we find the answers/ Mucking up the enterprise are fatuous passages about smugglers, espionage, and computers
[a euphemism for fuck up, probably influenced by mid-1800s mucks, ''disarrange, discompose, make a muddle,'' fr British dialect muxen, ''make filthy'']
high muckety-muck: Always used with big, high, etc: the way some of these big mucks do