Green’s Dictionary of Slang

screeve n.

also screave, scrieve, scrive
[? Scot. scrieve, to read or write quickly or continuously; or screeve v. although sense 1 here predates]

1. a letter; a note.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Scrive. a letter. Glimed the scrive , burned the Letter. Cant.
[UK] ‘Flash Lang.’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 19: A note of any kind, a screeve.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 25 Nov. 6/5: My jomer shall mail a screeve applying for this here sit.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Situation Wanted’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 660: Once she writes me a screeve.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 149: He comes to me with a screeve from some old friends of mine.

2. a begging letter.

implied in fake a screeve
[UK] ‘Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug’ Punch 31 Jan. n.p.: That long over Newgit their Worships may rule / As the high-toby, mob, crack and screeve model school.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Hampshire Teleg. 31 Mar. 11/5: A friendly ‘screeve’ may be had for sixpence, a long one for ninepence.
[UK]A. Morrison Child of the Jago (1982) 65: He cadged and wrote begging screeves.

3. a counterfeit banknote.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. XIX 87/2: Nadin then asked Knowles, where the screeves were? [Ibid.] 88/1: Fearns asked, what he gave for the one-pound screeves? Nadin replied, ‘7s. 6d. and 14s. for the two-pounds.’.
[UK]York Herald 17 Mar. 2/4: Witness then asked her if she had any Sceeves; she said she had only one left [...] a two pound Bank of England note .
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.

4. (UK Und.) a banknote, a guinea or a pound sterling.

[UK]York Herald 17 Mar. 2/4: Respecting the screeve he gave for the bad money, Witness said it was a Hull bank note, a good one .
[UK]D. Haggart Autobiog. 22: He asked 36 guineas for the prad; Barney offered 28. He came down a screave, Barney advanced one, when he instantly seized Barney by the hand, and closed the bargain at 29 guineas. [Ibid.] 36: I had eased his bengy cloy of 33 quid screaves.
[UK]Annals of Sporting 1 Feb. 121: The quids shall rattle, and the screaves fly in the wind .
[UK]‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue 44: Screaves in his benjy cloy Bank notes in his waistcoat pocket. [...] Three screaves in a lil which I fork’t from a suck Three bank notes in a pocket book which I took from a breast pocket.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 119/1: Strike me a dead-un, if there ain’t more ‘screeve’ than would cover a haystack!

5. a chalk drawing on the pavement.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1035/2: from ca. 1855.

In phrases