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screw +‎ -y. 1820, original meaning “tipsy, slightly drunk”; meaning “crazy, ridiculous” first recorded 1887.



screwy (comparative screwier or more screwy, superlative screwiest or most screwy)

  1. (informal) Crazy; silly; ridiculous
    That's a screwy idea; I am not going to fly all the way to Antarctica just to see a penguin!
    • 2005, Rickford Grant, Linux Made Easy: The Official Guide to Xandros 3 for Everyday Users, San Francisco: No Starch Press, →ISBN, page 155:
      Now, you don't actually have to have another printer in order to add another printer. This might sound a bit screwy on my part, but it is true.
  2. (archaic, informal) Tipsy; slightly drunk.


  • 1840, Hal of the West. Brilliant run with the Puckeridge hounds. The Sporting Magazine. March, 1840. Vol XX, No 119. p383
    " I saw my hearty out of the yard, with his pink peeping out of his Macintosh, on his screwy old black horse, and I heard from my fair waiter that he had been vaunting that he would lick us all into fits."
  • 1868, Memorials of a theological college. London: Houlston & Wright. 1868. p9
    "A tipsy man," said Spearman, "is generally noisy ; and I confess I was screwy on Wednesday."
  • 1877, Edward Peacock, English Dialect Society. A glossary of words used in the wapentakes of Manley and Corringham. London: Trubner & Co. 1877. p120
    "Screwy [skroo'i], adj. mean ; stingy ; parsimonious. Alto, slightly intoxicated."


Related terms[edit]