(a) screw loose

(a) screw loose
   (a) mental instability
   The imagery is from falling apart:
    I don't mean mad as in zany or whacky. I mean mad as in screw loose or tonto. (L. Barber, 1991)
   Whence screwy, having an abnormal mental condition or behaving in an eccentric manner:
    'The girl is screwy,' I said. 'Leave her out of it.' (Chandler, 1958)
   The American screw factory is an institution for the mentally ill:
    ... had to be taken to the screw factory. (Wambaugh, 1975)
   To be screwed up is to be confused or upset, while to screw up is to handle a situation badly.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • screw loose — If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • screw|loose — «SKROO LOOS», adjective, noun. –adj. very eccentric. –n. a screwloose person …   Useful english dictionary

  • screw loose —    If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If someone has a screw loose, their behaviour is strange and they appear slightly mad.     She wears a fur coat in the summer she must have a screw loose! …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • screw loose — See a screw loose …   English idioms

  • screw loose — Noun. See have a screw loose …   English slang and colloquialisms

  • Screw loose —   If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • screw loose, have a —  Be slightly mad …   A concise dictionary of English slang

  • screw-loose — adjective not behaving normally (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑screwy • Similar to: ↑insane • Usage Domain: ↑colloquialism …   Useful english dictionary

  • A screw loose — Screw Screw (skr[udd]), n. [OE. scrue, OF. escroue, escroe, female screw, F. [ e]crou, L. scrobis a ditch, trench, in LL., the hole made by swine in rooting; cf. D. schroef a screw, G. schraube, Icel. skr[=u]fa.] 1. A cylinder, or a cylindrical… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • a screw loose — a little bit crazy, one brick short...    Sometimes I think he has a screw loose like when he eats paper …   English idioms

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