Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, but mistakes do slip through. If something doesn’t work the way you expect, your first port of call should be www.friendsofed.com. A link to any known corrections since publication will be posted there.

If you think you have found a mistake that’s not listed, please submit an error report to www.friendsofed.com/errataSubmission.html. When friends of ED has finished with the thumbscrews and forced me to admit I’m wrong, we’ll post the details for everyone’s benefit on the friends of ED site.

What does the author allude to by the thumbscrews?

1 Answer 1


Thumbscrews are mechanical torture devices which have often been used historically to extract confessions (obviously under duress, and as a result often false).

The allusion is commonly used in a joking manner to indicate they will be browbeaten (synonymous here, but with different flavour), convinced or coerced into changing their opinion or judgement, and that such convincing could be long, arduous or painful. Here they suspect that they will be convinced by friends of ED that they are wrong.

  • I think there's also the allusion to the fact that torture devices have been commonly used to extract confessions. In this case, the author was insinuating that they would need to be tortured before confessing to making a mistake.
    – Jemenake
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 18:54
  • @Jemenake already mentioned :)
    – Sam
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 19:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .