put the screws

put the screws to (someone)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on someone. The bank has really started putting the screws to me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send a bit of muscle around tomorrow to put the screws to him. Then we'll see if he's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: put, screw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put the screws

to/on Slang
To pressure (another) in an extreme manner.
See also: put, screw
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
The former was sulky at this silence, but not disquieted; for, as he said, he knew where he could put the screw upon George, and only waited the result of that operation.
How much will it cost to send an "outreach team" of at least two people, plus their vehicle, to put the screws on (sorry, "offer support to") a single little old lady?
Rather than create a nation where the national economy can prosper as a whole, we have slowly descended into a nation of petty fiefdoms where narrow interests can be abused to put the screws to other narrow interests.
I do this on a scrap piece of metal drilled with a series of different size holes to put the screws in for heating to prevent them from rolling off, though you may secure them in any suitable manner.
He said, 'So you would have to nationalize the banking system because that is how ECB (European Central Bank) and the Germans and the Troika put the screws to Greece every time there is negotiations.
"We focused on improving obvious things like the pencil holders, but we also paid attention to the smallest of details like where we put the screws." The flexibility of their general kiosk design enabled the team to quickly customize features in response to a variety of requests.
We're not running out of oil and won't anytime soon, which is why the Saudis are helping put the screws to our domestic industry.
"They came in, looked at our books, looked at everything and said, CyHere's some accounts we feel like we're going to regulate you on,' and they kind of put the screws to us on what we could and couldn't do type thing," a manager stated in the recording.
But Hawks defied those odds and, as Trojans fell apart, Maarten de Jonge and Simon Payne put the screws on the Trojans guards, and as shots missed at one end, they rained in at the other.
The scanner, which had quickly been placed around the woman on the operating table, instantly relayed live pictures on a large screen above her head so the surgeons could see where to put the screws. Mr Lee, a consultant spinal surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital where he performed the operation, said: "Normally, when you put screws in without the use of this technology, you are guided by the anatomy and your own view of the patient's spine from previous imaging.
"We are looking at what more we can do as the U.K., and we are looking at what more we can do to sort of put the screws on the other donors who have pledged a lot of money but haven't yet written the check," Fletcher said.
The conventional wisdom following last month's midterm elections is that the rousing Republican victory would mean a more favorable climate for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu's government in the United Statesthat the extra-friendly Congress would make it more difficult for the Obama Administration to put the screws to Netanyahu the way it has.
Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) put the screws to those beloved by Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), whose book about having supposedly survived a near-death encounter with the notorious Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), Hoffman's former boss, is revealed to be bogus.
It's even worse when we have to put the screws back in and then go back the next day to unscrew them again to reconnect the battery connector.