screwage

Today’s Bizarro, with the suggestive word screwage:

It turns out that screwage is attested in at least three senses, involving differet bases screw and different uses of the derivational suffix -age.

First, there’s the screwage the waiter intended, which is in OED2, where, however, it’s marked as rare:

The action or process of screwing.

with only one cite:

1865   T. Carlyle Hist. Friedrich II of Prussia VI. xx. vi. 146   The Butes and Hardwickes working incessantly with such rare power of leverage and screwage in the interior parts.

Then there’s the screwage the waiter was avoiding. From Spears’s Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions, 4th ed. (2007):

copulation; acts of copulation; the people and actions of copulation:  His mind is on nothing but “screwage” and how to get some of it.

(This has screw ‘fuck’.)

Finally, there’s a computer sense, which the Jargon File (12/1/94) characterizes as:

Like lossage but connotes that the failure is due to a designed-in misfeature rather than a simple inadequacy or a mere bug.

(This appears to have the screw of screw up.)

One Response to “screwage”

  1. Rob Miles Says:

    I figured the meaning being hinted at was more the screw from “screw over”, meaning to rip someone off, cheat them, or otherwise behave immorally especially in a business-type interaction. Since corkage fees are often thought of as the restaurant screwing over customers:

    “Shall we bring a bottle?”
    “Not worth it, they’ll screw you on the corkage fees”

    Makes me wish that “corking” was a fitting verb so that “They’ll cork you on the screwage fees” made any kind of sense.

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