A turn of the screw - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
a turn of the screw
turn of the screw
Something that worsens an already difficult or negative situation. Seeing my ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend is just another turn of the screw. My financial situation is already dire, so that traffic ticket is a real turn of the screw.
a (final or last) turn of the screw an additional amount of pressure or hardship applied to a situation that is already extremely difficult to bear. informal
a ˌturn of the ˈscrew another problem or difficulty added to a situation which is already very bad: In this recession a rise in interest rates is just another turn of the screw for businesses.This idiom refers to a method of torturing people. Thumbscrews were used to crush people’s thumbs, and turning them tightened them.