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Screwed like a house cat

Posted by Graham Cambray on January 30, 2009 at 18:39

In Reply to: Screwed like a house cat posted by ESC on January 30, 2009 at 17:21:

: : What does "Screwed like a house cat" mean and where did it come from please?

: Some people declaw their house cats. The declawing would make them at a disadvantage in an alley fight. Maybe that is an explanation.


There's a brief Yahoo forum here:

The few example I found witha quick "google" all seem to be from the US - reproduced below, with cintext where it helps:

The 21-year-old Vick was charged with three misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm, and was released on $10,000 bond.
He is done, screwed like a house cat in heat.

Chiefly, we need to spend a hell of a lot less money or we are screwed like a house cat!

The poor guy is probably still in shock from getting screwed like a house cat by his ex's attorney.

...... could keep gasoline prices high, possibly for years to come.
We are getting screwed like a house cat from Dick and Co.

The examples show that while the phrase is paying reference to the alternative, sexual meaning ("in heat" is the clicher", that's not how it's used - all the above have the meaning "cheated" or "in serious difficulty".

So, one of thousands of similes with a deliberately disjointed reference, and used as a humorous intensifier. Someone may be able to find a "first recorded use" for you, but I'd be surprised if there's much more out there to find.

The "from Dick and Co" extension has me foxed - almost certainly another instance of contrasting two meanings of the same word, but what is the "straight" meaning here?