screw-off

or screw·off

[ skroo-awf, -of ]
/ ˈskruˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun Slang.

a loafer; idler.

Nearby words

  1. screw thread,
  2. screw top,
  3. screw up,
  4. screw up one's courage,
  5. screw you,
  6. screw-on,
  7. screw-top,
  8. screwball,
  9. screwdriver,
  10. screwed

Origin of screw-off

noun use of verb phrase screw off

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

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 off

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

Word Origin and History for screw off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with screw off

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.