Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Screw (A),

 Scratched.Screw Loose (A). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Screw (A),
meaning a small quantity, is in allusion to the habit of putting a small quantity of small articles into a “screw of paper.”   1
   An old screw. One who keeps his money tight, and doles it out in screws or small quantities.   2
   To put on the screw. To press for payment, as a screw presses by gradually-increasing pressure.   3
   Raised your screw. Raised your wages.   4
        “‘Has Tom got his screw raised?’ said Milton.”—Truth: Queer Story, 18th February, 1886.

 Scratched.Screw Loose (A). 


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