tighten the screw


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tighten the screw(s) (on one)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on one. The bank has really started tightening the screws on me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send one of my strong men around to him tomorrow to tighten the screw. Then we'll see if little Johnny's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: tighten

tighten the screws on (one)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on one. The bank has really started tightening the screws on me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send one of my strong men around to him tomorrow to tighten the screws on him. Then we'll see if he's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: on, screw, tighten

tighten (or turn) the screw (or screws)

exert strong pressure on someone. informal
See also: screw, tighten
References in periodicals archive ?
If I want a stiffer feel, I just tighten the screw some more.
If the door is higher or lower than adjacent doors, loosen the mounting screws on both hinges, raise or lower the door, then tighten the screws. Place a straightedge across the door top or bottom to make sure it's level with neighboring doors.
Owen had been making a good recovery and had been on course to return to Premiership action against Middlesbrough on April 9, until it was discovered he needed the minor procedure to tighten the screw.
The operation to tighten the screw casts a major doubt on that target, as Owen would need to be back playing by April 7 with the Premiership season ending on May 7.
He said: "The specialists say everything is fine but to speed the process up they need to tighten the screw they inserted when I had the operation.
"The specialists have said that everything is healing fine, but to speed the process, they need to tighten the screw they inserted at the time of my operation in January," he said.
He told the club's official website: "The specialists have said that everything is healing fine but to speed the process, they need to tighten the screw they inserted at the time of my operation in January.
Finally, to prevent accidental loosening, tighten the screw on the belt.
After that, it's a properly sized driver, letting you tighten the screw easily.
Player-manager Nigel Clough says Burton need to tighten the screw on the teams in the pack behind them.
In previous eras, when a Chancellor wanted to tighten the screw, he would introduce what he called a squeeze.
2006: March 24: Requires surgery to tighten the screw inserted into his foot during the initial operation.
Ensure the spikes on the head of the fixing grip go into the plasterboard, then tighten the screw to open up the legs until they grip the back of the plasterboard.
But he is unlikely to return until the end of the month following an operation to tighten the screw in his broken metatarsal.
Diplomats have not ruled out the possibility of terrorist attacks on Britain as the international community tries to tighten the screw on Tehran.