1820, original meaning “tipsy, slightly drunk;” meaning “crazy, ridiculous” first recorded 1887.
- (informal) Crazy; silly; ridiculous; insane; demented; unreasonable.
That's a screwy idea; I am not going to fly all the way to Antarctica just to see a penguin!
- (archaic, informal) Tipsy; slightly drunk.
- 1840, Hal of the West. Brilliant run with the Puckeridge hounds. The Sporting Magazine. March, 1840. Vol XX, No 119. p383
- " I saw my hearty out of the yard, with his pink peeping out of his Macintosh, on his screwy old black horse, and I heard from my fair waiter that he had been vaunting that he would lick us all into fits."
- 1868, Memorials of a theological college. London: Houlston & Wright. 1868. p9
- "A tipsy man," said Spearman, "is generally noisy ; and I confess I was screwy on Wednesday."
- 1877, Edward Peacock, English Dialect Society. A glossary of words used in the wapentakes of Manley and Corringham. London: Trubner & Co. 1877. p120
- "Screwy [skroo'i], adj. mean ; stingy ; parsimonious. Alto, slightly intoxicated."