screwed

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “The reference given does not support most of the claims.”) From screw +‎ -ed.

  • The modern sense of screwed originates in the mid-1600s 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 screw gained a sexual connotation in the early 1700s,[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 1800s, and is associated with the term screwy, and the idiom to have a screw loose.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːd

Adjective[edit]

screwed (comparative more screwed, superlative most screwed)

  1. (slang) fucked, 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, Britain) intoxicated.

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

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 Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “screw”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “screw”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams[edit]