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put the screws to someone

Slang definitions & phrases for put the screws to someone

put the screws to someone

verb phrase

To use extreme coercive pressure; harass; PUT THE HEAT ON someone: The only reason Fidel agreed was to put the screws to Reagan

[1940s+; fr a torturer's use of thumbscrews; put the screws on is found by 1834]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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