screwball

[ skroo-bawl ]
/ ˈskruˌbɔl /

noun

Slang. an eccentric or whimsically eccentric person; a nut.
Baseball. a pitched ball that curves toward the side of the plate from which it was thrown.

adjective

Slang. eccentric or whimsically eccentric: What a screwball idea!

Origin of screwball

1865–70; 1935–40 for def 2; screw + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for screwball

British Dictionary definitions for screwball

screwball

/ (ˈskruːˌbɔːl) slang, mainly US and Canadian /

noun

an odd or eccentric person

adjective

odd; zany; eccentric
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 screwball

screwball


n.

"eccentric person," 1933, U.S. slang, earlier as a type of erratic baseball pitch (1928), from a still earlier name for a type of delivery in cricket (1866), from screw (n.) + ball (n.1). Screwball comedy is attested from 1938, in reference to Carole Lombard.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper