screwball

[skroo-bawl]
noun
1.
Slang. an eccentric or whimsically eccentric person; a nut.
2.
Baseball. a pitched ball that curves toward the side of the plate from which it was thrown.
adjective
3.
Slang. eccentric or whimsically eccentric: What a screwball idea!

Origin:
1865–70; 1935–40 for def 2; screw + ball1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
screwball (ˈskruːˌbɔːl)
 
n
1.  an odd or eccentric person
 
adj
2.  odd; zany; eccentric

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

screwball
"eccentric person," 1933, U.S. slang, earlier as a type of erratic baseball pitch (1928), from a still earlier name for a type of bowl in cricket (1866), from screw (n.) + ball. Screwball comedy is attested from 1938.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

screwball definition


  1. n.
    an eccentric person; a clown or a dunce. (Also a rude term of address.) : Tom is such a screwball!
  2. n.
    [in baseball] a (pitched) ball that does not travel in a straight line. : Jim threw another screwball, but somehow the batter hit it.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
He's high-school hot, with a screwball smile and a busted laugh.
Artists and designers are perpetually obsessed with screwball prognostication.
The screwball left turns you could never guess were coming.
Of course, complications occur and a screwball comedy ensues.
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