Screw (A), meaning a small quantity, is in allusion to the habit of putting a small quantity of small articles into a “screw of paper.”
   An old screw. One who keeps his money tight, and doles it out in screws or small quantities.
   To put on the screw. To press for payment, as a screw presses by gradually-increasing pressure.
   Raised your screw. Raised your wages.

“ `Has Tom got his screw raised?' said Milton.”- Truth: Queer
18th February, 1886.
Screw Loose (A). Something amiss. The allusion is to joinery kept together by screws.

Screw Plot (The). 1708, when Queen Anne went to St. Paul's to offer thanksgivings for the victory of Oudenarde. The tale is that the plotters took out certain screw-bolts from the beams of the cathedral, that the roof might fall on the queen and her suite and kill them.

`Some of your Machiavelian crew
From heavy roof of Paul
Most traitorously stole every screw,
To make that fabric fall;
And so to catch Her Majesty,
And all her friends beguile.”
Plot upon Plot (about 1713).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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