flub

To flub something is to really mess it up. When a movie actor flubs his lines, the scene can be filmed again. But, if he's a stage actor, there's no way to fix the mistake.

Even a star basketball player flubs an easy layup sometimes, and the very best students occasionally flub a quiz. The mistake or blunder itself can also be called a flub: "The concert was terrible, full of flubs." The word's been around since the 1920's, possibly influenced by words like "fluff" and "flop," and definitely coined in the United States.

Definitions of flub
  1. verb
    make a mess of, destroy or ruin
  2. noun
    an embarrassing mistake
    synonyms: bloomer, blooper, blunder, boo-boo, botch, bungle, foul-up, pratfall
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    types:
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    bobble
    the momentary juggling of a batted or thrown baseball
    spectacle
    a blunder that makes you look ridiculous; used in the phrase `make a spectacle of' yourself
    bull
    a serious and ludicrous blunder
    fumble, muff
    (sports) dropping the ball
    fluff
    a blunder (especially an actor's forgetting the lines)
    faux pas, gaffe, gaucherie, slip, solecism
    a socially awkward or tactless act
    howler
    a glaring blunder
    clanger
    a conspicuous mistake whose effects seem to reverberate
    misstep, stumble, trip, trip-up
    an unintentional but embarrassing blunder
    type of:
    error, fault, mistake
    a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention
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