It is from Crash Course A&P. It is at 2 minute and 6 second. Here it goes:

Specifically, they go around wearing parts of the organisms they have killed so others can see them. Sounds a little bit messed up, but we are talking life and death here.

I have checked what the adjective means, and have checked what the phrasal verb mess up means, but still have a hard time understanding what it means there.

  • I know it's not really appropriate, but I find that the best way to explain it is by saying it's a milder, perhaps euphemistic way of saying f***ed up. Of course, here messed up isn't a standalone phrase as in that Urban Dictionary entry, but still. The third definition here is also pertinent.
    – user3395
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 11:37
  • 1
    messed up (slang) = crazy, pathological, mentally disturbed or traumatized.
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


"Messed up" can be the past tense of "mess up", but it is also slang. The definition of messed up in the Online Slang dictionary lists several variations (the example sentences are ones I came up with because the examples from the site have been redacted):

  1. severely under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    We got so messed up on St. Patrick's day that we couldn't go in to work the next day.
  2. disturbed, confused, etc.
    She wears raw bacon as jewelry - it's really messed up!
  3. unfortunate.
    It's messed up that you didn't get a chance to audition because you were 5 minutes late.

In this sense (organisms wearing parts of other organisms), I think the "that's really weird/crazy" sense fits best.


Here are the meanings of the phrasal verb to mess up copied from Longman's dictionary:

mess up (phrasal verb) (informal)

1 mess something ↔ up

to spoil or ruin something, especially something important or something that has been carefully planned

It took me ages to get this right – I don’t want some idiot to mess it up. She felt she’d messed up her whole life.

2 mess something ↔ up

to make something dirty or untidy

Who messed up the kitchen?

3 mess something ↔ up

to make a mistake and do something badly:

I think I messed up on the last question.

It doesn’t matter if you mess it up, you can always try again.

4 mess somebody ↔ up

to make someone have emotional or mental problems

I messed up my kids.

5 mess somebody ↔ up (American English) (informal)

to hurt someone especially by hitting them

The adjective is formed on basis of these meanings, one of them is to apply for the context.

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