A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue Nov 2 03:52:19 UTC 1999

I've heard "standard", "straight" and "slotted" which is odd because the
slot is in the screw, one of those transferred epithets, I guess. I've
never heard "plus" and "minus" screwdrivers. Of course, where I worked
there wasn't a simple screwdriver but always an "[expletive] screwdriver."

(who worked as a glazier and weather-stripper for at least 15 years,
although in retrospect it seems much shorter)
maberry at

On Mon, 1 Nov 1999, Amy Speed wrote:

> My father, a carpenter, always called the flat screwdriver a "slotted"
> screwdriver.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Love Hartman
> Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 7:11 PM
> Subject: Screwdrivers
> I am curious about the different words used when asking for a specific
> screwdriver. I heard that originally a person would either ask for a
> phillips or a standard or a flat. I heard someone refer to the two
> types of screwdrivers as a "plus or minus".  How did the plus and minus get
> started?
> L.H.
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