Idioms

Origin of screw

1375–1425; late Middle English scrwe, screw(e) (noun); compare Middle French escro(ue) nut, Middle Dutch schrûve, Middle High German schrûbe screw
SYNONYMS FOR screw
Related formsscrew·a·ble, adjectivescrew·er, nounscrew·less, adjectivescrew·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for screw around

screw

/ (skruː) /

noun

verb

See also screw up
Derived Formsscrewer, nounscrewlike, adjective

Word Origin for screw

C15: from French escroe, from Medieval Latin scrōfa screw, from Latin: sow, presumably because the thread of the screw is like the spiral of the sow's tail

usage

The use of this otherwise utilitarian word in a sexual sense, though recorded in an 18th century slang dictionary, does not appear to have really taken off until well into the 20th. Although a classic example of the anatomical metaphor for the sex act seen from the male point of view, it can be used as a transitive verb by women, which suggests that the metaphor is all but dead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with screw around (1 of 2)

screw around


1

Fool around aimlessly, accomplishing nothing, as in If you boys would stop screwing around we'd have the fence painted in an hour. It is also put as screw around with, as in Stop screwing around with the new camera. The idiom probably derives from screw in the sense of “turn” or “twist.” [Slang; second half of 1900s]

2

Be sexually promiscuous, as in He's been screwing around behind her back for years. [Vulgar slang; first half of 1900s]

Idioms and Phrases with screw around (2 of 2)

screw


In addition to the idioms beginning with screw

  • screw around
  • screw loose
  • screw someone out of
  • screw up
  • screw up one's courage
  • screw you

also see:

  • have a screw loose
  • pluck (screw) up one's courage
  • tighten the screws
  • turn up the heat (put the screws on)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.