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be afraid of (one's) (own) shadow
To be easily or constantly spooked, nervous, timid, afraid, or fearfully suspicious. I can't say I have much faith in Johnny helping us on this expedition—that boy's afraid of his own shadow! You can't live life being afraid of your shadow—you need to get out into the world and taste adventure!
(I'm) (a)fraid not
A response used to reluctantly decline an invitation or politely answer a question in the negative, indicating regret that the answer is "no." When the phrase is abbreviated to "'fraid not," an apostrophe is sometimes used in place of the missing letter. A: "Will you be able to attend the meeting tomorrow?" B: "I'm afraid not. I'm going to be out of town." A: "Could you loan me a hundred bucks?" B: "'Fraid not. I'm broke."
See also: not
afraid of (one's) own shadow
Easily scared; jumpy; timid. Everyone was surprised that Janice led the meeting with confidence, as she normally seems afraid of her own shadow. Please don't take my sister to a haunted house on Halloween—she's afraid of her own shadow.
(I'm) (a)fraid so
A reponse used to politely answer a question in the affirmative when the speaker regrets that this is the case. When the phrase is abbreviated to "'fraid so," an apostrophe is sometimes used in place of the missing letter. A: "Are you really moving all the way across the country?" B: "I'm afraid so." A: "Are you going to be working late again tonight?" B: "'Fraid so."
afraid of one's own shadow
Fig. easily frightened; always frightened, timid, or suspicious. (An exaggeration.) After Tom was robbed, he was even afraid of his own shadow.
He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
Prov. Sometimes it is more dangerous to stop doing a dangerous thing than it is to continue doing it. Jill: You shouldn't take out another loan. You're already too far in debt. Jane: If I don't take out a loan, I can't make the payments on the loans I already have. You know how it is—she who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
(I'm) afraid not.and 'Fraid not.
I believe, regrettably, that the answer is no. (The apostrophe is not always shown.) Rachel: Can I expect any help with this problem? Henry: I'm afraid not. Andrew: Will you be there when I get there? Bill: Afraid not.
(I'm) afraid so.and 'Fraid so.
I believe, regrettably, that the answer is yes. (The apostrophe is not always shown.) Alice: Do you have to go? John: Afraid so. Rachel: Can I expect some difficulty with Mr. Franklin? Bob: I'm afraid so.
See also: afraid
be afraid of your own shadow
to be extremely nervous and easily frightened She's always having panic attacks, she's the kind of person who's afraid of her own shadow.
afraid of one's own shadow
Very timid and fearful, as in Richard constantly worries about security; he's afraid of his own shadow. This hyperbole has been used in English since the early 1500s, and some writers believe it originated in ancient Greece.