have a screw loose

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have a screw loose

To be or seem particularly silly, eccentric, crazy, or mentally unstable. (Also worded as "have a loose screw.") That guy on the corner must have a screw loose or something, because he's been standing out there yelling obscenities at passersby all morning. My old uncle Pete has a few screws loose, but he's a really nice guy. What's the matter with you? Do you have a screw loose, or what?
See also: have, loose, screw

have a screw loose

 and have a loose screw; have got a screw loose
Inf. Fig. to be silly or eccentric. He's sort of strange. I think he's got a loose screw. Yes, he has a screw loose somewhere. He wears a heavy jacket in the middle of summer.
See also: have, loose, screw

have a screw loose

Be mentally unstable or eccentric, as in Anyone who approves that purchase must have a screw loose. This term likens a mental weakness to a machine in which a part is not securely fastened. An antonym is have one's head screwed on right; for example, She's very capable; she has her head screwed on right. [Slang; early 1800s]
See also: have, loose, screw

have a screw loose

INFORMAL
If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy. He must have a screw loose, spending that sort of money on a holiday! She looked at me as if I had a screw loose. Note: The image is of a piece of machinery that needs to be adjusted or repaired.
See also: have, loose, screw

have a screw loose

be slightly eccentric or mentally disturbed. informal
See also: have, loose, screw

have a ˈscrew loose

be slightly crazy: He dresses his cats up in little coats for the winter. Sometimes I think he must have a screw loose. OPPOSITE: have your head screwed on (the right way)
See also: have, loose, screw

have a screw loose

and have a loose screw
tv. to be silly or eccentric. (Have got can replace have.) He’s sort of strange. I think he’s got a loose screw. You’re talking like you’ve got a screw loose or something.
See also: have, loose, screw

have a screw loose

Slang
To behave in an eccentric or mentally deranged manner.
See also: have, loose, screw
References in classic literature ?
That's neither here nor there, though; but Lidia--I'm very fond of her, but she has a screw loose somewhere--has lost her heart to this Landau now, and nothing is settled now in her house or Alexey Alexandrovitch's without him, and so your sister's fate is now in the hands of Landau, alias Count Bezzubov.
If there's a screw loose in a heavenly body, that's philosophy; and if there's screw loose in a earthly body, that's philosophy too; or it may be that sometimes there's a little metaphysics in it, but that's not often.
Ever since we got together, I've been casting about to find out what's wrong with you, to locate a screw loose somewhere, but I'll be danged if I've succeeded.
The man who doesn't believe in ROBINSON CRUSOE, after THAT, is a man with a screw loose in his understanding, or a man lost in the mist of his own self-conceit
He knew, no doubt, that there was some screw loose, but he was not in our secrets.
An uncommonly ill-looking fellow, in a close brown wig, and a plum-coloured suit, wearing a very large sword, and boots up to his hips, belonged to the party; and when he sat himself down next to the young lady, who shrank into a corner at his approach, my uncle was confirmed in his original impression that something dark and mysterious was going forward, or, as he always said himself, that "there was a screw loose somewhere.
It doesn't know that all those units have a screw loose, but it's not something you want to risk.
Grant's brother, Tim, who crewed the 1979 Sydney Hobart winner Screw Loose (the last Tasmanian yacht to win the famous race) and Dave Cromarty, who has done the race on Whistler, will join him.
After studying at Teesside Uni for three years, this is Zach's first return to Middlesbrough since graduation and if Screw Loose is anything to go by, we're in for a treat.
Ali Rowatt admits she's got a screw loose as she starts final preparations for the world's toughest triathlon.
Huw Solo GOT to be a screw loose if you're paying all that for a fiver
IT has been said many times that I have a screw loose.
FIERCE ITV, 8pm IT'S hard to tell if Steve Backshall is extremely brave, or just has a screw loose.
Steve Backshall releases a South African Back Mamba snake back into the wild FIERCE ITV, 8pm IT'S hard to tell if Steve Backshall is extremely brave, or just has a screw loose.
Klitschko claims Tyson has a screw loose and has joked he will tighten it in the ring as part of his "therapy" for the unbeaten challenger.