I need a replacement word for the word clusterf#$k
April 17, 2008 4:12 PM Subscribe
I need a replacement word for the word clusterf#$k.
posted by gummo to writing & language (64 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
"Cluster Fuck (also Clusterfuck, Charlie-Foxtrot) - The term originated from situations where groups of United States Marines were too large or disorganized to be able to successfully defend themselves from enemy fire, but in modern meaning it has evolved to mean any set of circumstances in which massive disorganization has the potential to cause serious damage, or a disastrous situation that results from the cumulative errors of several people or groups."
Occasionally I need to use the word clusterfuck, or one that means the same thing. Sometimes that occasion includes people that don't want to hear the word fuck. And I don't necessarily want to use the word fuck any more than I already do. But I can't find a replacement I'm happy with.
Disaster is close but not right.
Same for catastrophe and calamity.
Confusion and disorganization are appropriate words that help to describe a clusterfuck, but themselves aren't.
Clusterfuck is different in a subtle way. It implies a group of monkey wrenches have been thrown into the situation by a bunch of knuckleheads.
Looking up the word mess, which is a simple, less powerful version of clusterfuck, on thesaurus.com yields a bunch of stuff that doesn't quite fit.
I friend of mine suggested the following word:
All decent but not right. And not even real words in most cases.
There has to be a 'real', regular, formal word that means the same thing, no? Something I'm simply not thinking of.
Metafilter can't possibly let me down.