put the wind up (someone)

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put the wind up (someone)

To make someone very anxious, upset, or frightened. If they keep putting pressure on you, we'll threaten them with legal action; that should put the wind up them!
See also: put, up, wind

put (or have) the wind up

alarm or frighten (or be alarmed or frightened). British informal
One of the earliest recorded uses of this expression was in a letter from the poet Wilfred Owen in 1918 : ‘Shells so close that they thoroughly put the wind up a Life Guardsman in the trench with me’.
See also: put, up, wind