• Screw



    From Middle English screw, scrue ("screw"); apparently, despite the difference in meaning, from Old French escroue ("nut, cylindrical socket, screwhole"), of uncertain origin. There is also the Old French escruve ("screw"), from Old Dutch *scrūva (), which probably influenced or conflated with the aforementioned resulting in the Middle English word.

    more on the etymology of screw

    Old French escroue (whence Medieval Latin scrofa ("nut, screwhole")), is believed to be an adaptation of Latin scrōfa ("sow, female pig");

    Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edn., s.v. "screw".

    but this development is not found in other Romance languages.

    ''A new English dictionary on historical principles, Vol. 8, "screw"

    (For change in meaning, compare also Spanish puerca, Portuguese porca, both ‘sow; screw nut’, and is based on the fact that a boar's penis has a screw-like tip, making the sow's vulva equivalent to a screw nut by analogy).

    Old Dutch *scrūva derives from Proto-Germanic *skrūbō ("screw"), from Proto-Germanic *skru- ("to cut"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keru-, *(s)ker- ("to cut"), and is related to German Schraube ("screw"), Low German schruve, schruwe ("screw"), Dutch schroef ("screw"), West Frisian skroef ("screw"), Danish skrue ("screw"), Swedish skruf ("screw, peg"), Icelandic skrúfa ("screw").

    Compare also Occitan escrofa ("screw nut"), Calabrese scrufina ("screw nut"), which may be borrowings of the Old French word, or parallel developments.

    Full definition of screw



    (plural screws)
    1. A device that has a helical function.
      1. A simple machine, a helical inclined plane.
      2. A (usually) metal fastener consisting of a shank partially or completely threaded shank, sometimes with a threaded point, and a head used to both hold the top material and to drive the screw either directly into a soft material or into a prepared hole.
      3. (nautical) A ship's propeller.
        • 1915, George A. Birmingham, Gossamer Chapter 1, It is never possible to settle down to the ordinary routine of life at sea until the screw begins to revolve. There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy.
      4. An Archimedes screw.
      5. A steam vessel propelled by a screw instead of wheels.
      6. (derogatory) A role.
        1. A prison guard.
        2. An extortioner; a sharp bargainer; a skinflint.
        3. (US, slang, dated) An instructor who examines with great or unnecessary severity; also, a searching or strict examination of a student by an instructor.
      7. (vulgar, slang) To do with coitus.
        1. Sexual intercourse; the act of screwing.
          have a good screw
          • 2001, Bárbara Mujica, Frida: A Novel of Frida Kahlo, Overlook Press (2012), ISBN 9781468300994, unnumbered page:“Not for God's sake, for Papá's sake. He's the one who gave Mami a good screw, and then you popped out. Or did you think you were a child of the Immaculate Conception, like the Baby Jesus?
          • 2007, Barry Calvert, Swingers 1, Matador (2007), ISBN 9781905886647, page 85:A few couples would let selected doggers join in, with the lucky ones managing to get a screw.
          • 2009, Kimberly Kaye Terry, The Sweet Spot, Aphrodisia Books (2009), ISBN 9780758228765, page 28:As she sucked the nicotine deeply into her lungs, she closed her eyes and leaned back against the headboard, enjoying the pleasurable buzz that the combination of a good screw—well, a decent screw—coupled with the nicotine gave.
        2. A casual sexual partner.
          • 1944, W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge, Vintage International (2003), ISBN 9780307785084, unnumbered page:“If I don't go back to my boy friend he'll be as mad as hell. He's a sulky brute, but Christ, he's a good screw.”
          • 1990, Susan Lewis, Stolen Beginnings, HarperPaperbacks (1992), ISBN 9780061004414, page 122:"Swear it!" Kathleen screamed. "Let her know that she's just another screw. Because, darling, that's all you are. So go on, tell her!"
          • 1993, William Gill, Fortune's Child, HarperCollins Canada (1994), ISBN 9780061091551, page 42:She was just a girl, like any of the girls he had had so easily, just another screw.
          • 2009, Sam Moffie, The Book of Eli, Mill City Press (2009), ISBN 9781936107353, page 6:Mary was Eli's favorite screw because she was clean, pretty, a good mother, funny, and alway was able to make herself available for their twice a week fucks as easily as he was.
      8. (slang) Salary, wages.
        • 1888, Rudyard Kipling,A certain amount of "screw" is as necessary for a man as for a billiard-ball.
      9. (billiards) Backspin.
      10. (slang) A small packet of tobacco.
      11. An unsound or worn-out horse, useful as a hack, and commonly of good appearance.
      12. (math) A straight line in space with which a definite linear magnitude termed the pitch is associated. It is used to express the displacement of a rigid body, which may always be made to consist of a rotation about an axis combined with a translation parallel to that axis.
      13. An amphipod crustacean.
        the skeleton screw (Caprella);  the sand screw


    • (casual sexual partner) see also .


    1. (transitive) To connect or assemble pieces using a screw.
    2. (transitive, vulgar, slang) To have sexual intercourse with.
    3. (transitive, slang) To cheat someone or ruin their chances in a game or other situation. Sometimes used in the form "screw over".
    4. (transitive) To apply pressure on; to put the screws on.
    5. To practice extortion upon; to oppress by unreasonable or extortionate exactions.
      • Jonathan SwiftOur country landlords, by unmeasurable screwing and racking their tenants, have already reduced the miserable people to a worse condition than the peasants in France.
    6. (transitive) To contort.
      • DrydenHe screwed his face into a hardened smile.
      • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot (novel) Chapter VI had been calling Nobs in the meantime and was about to set out in search of him, fearing, to tell the truth, to do so lest I find him mangled and dead among the trees of the acacia grove, when he suddenly emerged from among the boles, his ears flattened, his tail between his legs and his body screwed into a suppliant S. He was unharmed except for minor bruises; but he was the most chastened dog I have ever seen.
    7. (soccer, transitive) To miskick (a ball) by hitting it with the wrong part of the foot.
      • 2011, February 5, Chris Whyatt, Wolverhampton 2 - 1 Man Utd, The visitors could have added an instant second, but Rooney screwed an ugly attempt high into Hennessey's arms after Berbatov cleverly found the unmarked England striker.
    8. (billiard, snooker, pool) To screw back.
    9. (US, slang, dated) To examine (a student) rigidly; to subject to a severe examination.


    • (2)
    • fuck taboo slang (2, 3)
    • Australia root (2)
    • British shag (2)



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