- (a) screw loose
- (a) mental instabilityThe 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. R. W. Holder. 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