Green’s Dictionary of Slang

screwing n.

[screw v.]

1. in UK Und. uses.

(a) a general term for house-breaking, burglary.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 59/1: Jack, being ‘turned up’ as a ‘stall’ betook himself to his old ‘graft’ ‘screwing’.
[UK] ‘Six Years in the Prisons of England’ Temple Bar Mag. Nov. 535: I did the screwing in this way. Wherever I saw a lobby lighted with gas, I looked in at the key-hole. If I saw anything worth lifting I ‘screwed’ the door.
[Aus]West Gippsland Gaz. (Warragul, Vic.) 28 Feb. 6/3: I’m not thinking of Christmas; yer see it’s a good time for screwing.
[UK]N. Lucas Autobiog. of a Thief 230: ‘Well, mate, what are you up for?’ [...] ‘Stealing, mostly.’ [...] ‘Stealing? Oh, you means “screwing”?’.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 20: ‘I got nicked for screwing. That’s my lark, really.’ Somehow, he felt ashamed at having to admit himself to be just an ordinary burglar.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 121: He’d been screwing – housebreaking – in and around London for four years.
[UK]N. Dunn Up the Junction 91: I thought of going back to screwing for living.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 28: [They] settled down to what is known as professional ‘screwing’.
[UK]G.F. Newman Villain’s Tale 34: A bit of screwing, that does me.

(b) (also screwing job) an act of burglary.

[UK]G. Ingram Cockney Cavalcade 145: ‘I had it off last night.’ ‘You did? [...] Where? What? ‘Screwing’?’.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 104: ‘I’ll have to get some, that’s all.’ ‘How?’ ‘Do a screwing job.’.
[Ire]B. Behan Scarperer (1966) 40: A screwing job more than likely.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 21: I couldn’t see Monty Rose, much less Morry Norris, the Pussyfence, going out on a screwing job.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 18: Some good screwing jobs to be done around here.
[UK](con. 1920s) J. Sparks Burglar to the Nobility 105: They’re forced to do a screwing job and bust into one of the farms around the Moor.
[Scot](con. mid-1960s) J. Patrick Glasgow Gang Observed 116: Tim’s standard reply to enquiries as to his intentions on release from the approved school, ‘Ah’m goin’ straight – straigh tae a screwin’ joab’.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 531: The lad who’d been doing all these screwings, housebreakings and shopbreakings in the area was eighteen.

2. as synons. of fucking n.

(a) punishment; harsh or unfair treatment.

[UK]Sportsman 6 Dec. 7/1: He was next trained to run at Haydock in September, and got a good screwing for an unfurnished puppy sixteen months old .
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 187/1: Screwing. A raw deal; unwarranted abuse; a swindle; a betrayal.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 280: He’s just got fifty-one more screwings to go until next year.
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 9: It’s you who gets the screwing if you lie.

(b) sexual intercourse.

[US]Manchester Spy (NH) 24 May n.p.: On being asked [...] as to the business on which persons usually visited this house [i.e. a brothel] [s]he replied with a knowing wink that they ‘came to get screwing’ a term which appeared to be perfectly understood by the court.
[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 20: When he asked what I knew about getting in the family way, I said, ‘I know about screwing.’.
[US]R. McAlmon Companion Volume 248: Screwing [...] that’s what we’ll be doing in a minute.
[US]Bo Carter ‘All Around Man’ 🎵 Now I ain’t no plumber, no plumber’s son, / I can do your screwin’ till the plumber man comes.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 185: They’re no different from you and me, especially the ones that have had their screwing.
[US]J.P. Donleavy Ginger Man (1958) 264: The Irish feel that children are brought down upon them by the wrath of God for screwing.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 37: I didn’t get much sleep at all, not through screwing or that, but just because I didn’t have me bed to meself.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 133: Come home, Sweetstick, and bring the jewels, I could dig some good downhome screwing.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Davo’s Little Something 14: Any lumbering or screwing that had to be done all took place at Davo’s unit.

(c) attrib. use of sense 2b.

[US] (ref. to late 19C) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 118: They usually begin by building up a little screwing trade in the afternoons.

(d) cheating, fooling, deceiving.

[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 148: She’s my girl and she gave me a screwing.
[US](con. 1920s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 182: The players certainly get a good screwing in that joint.
[US]L. Bruce How to Talk Dirty 75: It looked as if the store was taking a big screwing.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 18: That’s a screwing [...] I was only in here since six.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 232: That’s just who I figured you’d want to give the screwing to.