1888 The Soudan bungle was born partly of sentimental loyalty and partly of the aforementioned jealousy existing between the colonies, and now at a time when the colonies should club closer together our Government is doing all they can to widen the breach by trying to pass a bill enabling New South Wales to monopolise the name “Australia”. — Henry Lawson, "United Division".
A mistake in the inventory that is made because you are confused is an example of a bungle.
When you miscount when doing inventory, this is an example of a time when you bungle.
1853 His hand shakes, he is nervous, and it falls off. “Would any one believe this?” says he, catching it as it drops and looking round. “I am so out of sorts that I bungle at an easy job like this!” — Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Chapter 49.
Made a bungle of the case due to inexperience.
Origin of bungle
- Perhaps of Scandinavian origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old Norse, akin to Swedish dialect bangla 'to work ineffectually', from Old Swedish bunga 'to strike'. Compare German Bengel 'cudgel; rude fellow', Middle High German bungen 'to hammer'.