screwed

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.
Particularly: “The reference given does not support most of the claims.”
  • The modern sense of screwed originates in the mid-1600's with a sense of "to screw" as a means of "exerting pressure or coercion", probably in reference to instruments of torture (e.g. thumbscrews).[1] It quickly gained a wider general sense of "in a bind; in unfortunate inescapable circumstances". When the verb "to screw" gained a sexual connotation in the early 1700's,[2] it joined the long-lasting association of sexual imagery as a metaphor for domination, leading to screwed gaining synonyms like fucked and shagged. On a more general note, this is a prime example of the frequent tendency for verb participles to evolve into adjectives.
  • The sense meaning "intoxicated" is from the early 1800's, and is associated with the term screwy, and the idiom to have a screw loose.[1]

Adjective[edit]

screwed (comparative more screwed, superlative most screwed)

  1. (slang) beset with unfortunate circumstances that seem difficult or impossible to overcome; in imminent danger.
    They found out about our betrayal, so now we're screwed.
  2. (slang, UK) intoxicated.
    • James Joyce, Dubliners
      Besides they were dreadfully afraid that Freddy Malins might turn up screwed. They would not wish for worlds that any of Mary Jane's pupils should see him under the influence []

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Because the sexual act as a metaphor for domination is a frequent association for the term 'screwed', it is potentially offensive in polite circles.

Verb[edit]

screwed

  1. simple past tense and past participle of screw
    He screwed the boards together tightly.
    I got screwed at the swap meet yesterday.
    • 1641, Richard Chambers (merchant), quoted in Hannis Taylor, The Origin and Growth of the English Constitution: An Historical Treatise, Part II: The After-Growth of the Constitution, H.O. Houghton & Company (1889), p. 274,
      […] merchants are in no part of the world so screwed as in England. In Turkey, they have more encouragement.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "screw (n.)" in the Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 2001
  2. ^ "screw (v.)" in the Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 2001