+44 20 7242 2234
Bloomsbury International Youtube Bloomsbury International Facebook Bloomsbury International Twitter Bloomsbury International Instagram Bloomsbury International Skype
Idiom

Have a Screw Loose: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To behave in a slightly strange or eccentric way
Origin
Have a screw looseThis idiom originates from the cotton industry and goes back to the 1780s, when textiles began to be mass produced during the industrial revolution. Large factories were built equipped with the latest technology, but it proved difficult to maintain all the machines in working order. Any machine that stopped working or produced faulty cloth was deemed to “have a screw loose” somewhere.
Examples
“John must have a screw loose for running the London marathon next week without having done any training!”

“Have you seen how Betty goes out in this freezing cold weather with a tiny skirt and no tights? She’s definitely got a screw loose!”

Laura: “Are you really putting salt on top of your ice cream? That must taste awful! ”
Will: “No it’s great! I love salt with my ice cream. It tastes yummy!”
Laura: “I always thought you had a screw loose!”