Are you looking for some useful idioms for being scared or afraid?
Well, if so, you have come to the right place.
In this post, we are going to look at 27 idioms for scared, what they mean and how to use them in day to day conversation.
Let’s get started…
27 Idioms For Scared (Meaning & Examples)
1. To Be Afraid Of One’s Shadow
- Meaning: to become spooked very easily.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t know if Mark would be a good night watchman, that boy is afraid of his own shadow.
2. To Get Or Give The Heebie-Jeebies
- Meaning: an extreme case of worry or fear.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t want to watch that movie, it gives me the heebie-jeebies.
3. To Scare The Daylights Out Of Someone
- Meaning: to frighten someone.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t ever do that again! You scared the living daylights out of me. I thought you were a burglar.
4. To Send A Chill Down One’s Spine
- Meaning: to cause in a person feelings of excitement, nervousness or fear.
- Use In A Sentence: Can you walk to the store with me? Walking around by myself at this hour sends a chill down my spine.
5. To Be Scared Stiff
- Meaning: to be so afraid one cannot move.
- Use In A Sentence: John was scared stiff when he saw the porch light come on.
6. To Make One’s Blood Run Cold
- Meaning: to frightened a person.
- Use In A Sentence: In the middle of the night Jessica saw a bug in her room and she started screaming. That scream made my blood run cold.
7. To Scare Straight
- Meaning: to scare a person so bad that they improve their behavior.
- Use In A Sentence: His parents thought it would be a good idea to show him pictures of what smoking can do to a person. It worked! It scared him straight and he never smoked another cigarette again.
- Meaning: to be called yellow means to be called a coward.
- Use In A Sentence: Joe says your yellow. Are you going to take that from him?
9. To Be Scared To Death
- Meaning: to be very frightened.
- Use In A Sentence: Luke came running out of nowhere and it nearly scared me to death.
10. Get/Give Goosebumps
- Meaning: to get bumps on one’s skins due to their hair standing up. It is usually caused by feeling cold, feelings of anxiety, nervousness or fear.
- Use In A Sentence: Walking around this part of town gives me the goosebumps.
11. To Scare One Out Of A Year’s Growth
- Meaning: to be seriously frightened to the point that hyperbolically it could affect how long one will live.
- Use In A Sentence: Mario jumped out of the bushes and gave her a hug. That really scared her out of a year’s growth.
12. To Shake / Tremble Like A Leaf
- Meaning: to literally shake or tremble because of fear.
- Use In A Sentence: As he stood up to the bully, I could see Jason shaking like a leaf.
13. To Scare The Pants Off Someone
- Meaning: to completely frighten someone.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t do that to your little brother! You scared the pants off him.
14. To Run Scared
- Meaning: to become afraid or to panic because of fear.
- Use In A Sentence: The stock market crash has many people running scared.
15. One’s Heart Misses A Beat
- Meaning: used to describe when a person has a strong emotional reaction. Usually caused by fear, excitement or nervousness.
- Use In A Sentence: I felt my heart miss a beat as the teacher called me to the front of the room.
16. To Scare One Out Of One’s Wits
- Meaning: to frighten someone very much.
- Use In A Sentence: I was scared out of my wits when I looked out the window and saw my car being stolen.
17. A Chicken
- Meaning: a coward.
- Use In A Sentence: What are you a chicken? Come on, I really want to go on this roller coaster.
18. To Scare Silly
- Meaning: to really scare someone.
- Use In A Sentence: That earthquake in the middle of the night scared me silly.
19. To Be Quaking / Shaking In One’s Boots (Shoes)
- Meaning: to literally be trembling or shaking because of fear.
- Use In A Sentence: I was shaking in my boots when my name was called from the platform.
20. To Jump Out Of One’s Skin
- Meaning: to flinch as a result of being startled by someone or something.
- Use In A Sentence: Sam jumped out of his skin when he heard a strange noise in the kitchen.
21. To Break Out In A Cold Sweat
- Meaning: to become frightened or to begin to sweat due to fear.
- Use In A Sentence: I broke out in a cold sweat the second I walked into the principal’s office and my teacher was sitting there.
22. To Have A Yellow Streak Down One’s Back
- Meaning: the tendency to become easily frightened.
- Use In A Sentence: She may act confident, but she has a yellow streak down her back.
23. To Have A Pit In One’s Stomach
- Meaning: usually a physical response to a strong emotion such as anxiety or fear.
- Use In A Sentence: Matt suddenly had a pit in his stomach as he approached the microphone.
24. To Have Nerves Of Steel
- Meaning: used to describe a person that doesn’t get frightened easily.
- Use In A Sentence: No matter what you do, you can’t scare George. I swear he has nerves of steel.
25. To Whistle In The Dark
- Meaning: to pretend one is not afraid in a scary situation.
- Use In A Sentence: Jennifer appears not to be afraid, but we know she is just whistling in the dark. Public speaking is her nightmare.
26. To Be Scared Witless
- Meaning: to really scare a person.
- Use In A Sentence: Daisy was scared witless when she heard a loud knock at the door.
27. I Wasn’t Brought Up In The Woods To Be Scared By Owls
- Meaning: to not be easily frightened by someone or something.
- Use In A Sentence: I am not afraid of Eric. I wasn’t brought up in the woods to be scared by owls.
There you have it! 27 idioms for scared. Which one is your favorite?