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]

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  • Put the skids on

    Bring to a halt, as in The school committee put the skids on the idea of a dress code. The word skid here probably refers to a shoe or drag that applies pressure to the wheel of a vehicle to prevent it from moving.

  • Put the slug on someone

    verb phrase



  • Put the snatch on

    verb phrase To take or commandeer; seize; kidnap: The Treasury Department is going to put the snatch on virtually the entire 40 grand (1940s+)

  • Put the spurs to someone

    verb phrase To urge and goad; prod; goose: had een criti of the Pentagon and had ”put the spurs to us from time to time” (1898+)



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