quake


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

quake like a leaf

To tremble violently with fear or nervousness. My brother is so strong and scary-looking that he leaves people quaking like a leaf when he threatens them. I was quaking like a leaf when I went up to deliver my speech.
See also: leaf, like, quake

quake in (one's) boots

To tremble with fear or nervousness. (Sometimes said sarcastically.) My brother is so strong and scary-looking that people quake in their boots when he threatens them. Ooh, I'm really scared of you! I'm quaking in my boots, you frighten me so!
See also: boot, quake

be quaking in (one's) boots

To be trembling with fear or nervousness. Often said sarcastically. Ooh, I'm really scared of you! I'm quaking in my boots, you frighten me so!
See also: boot, quake

quake in (one's) shoes

To tremble with fear or nervousness. (Sometimes said sarcastically.) My brother is so strong and scary-looking that people quake in their shoes when he threatens them. Ooh, I'm really scared of you! I'm quaking in my shoes, you frighten me so!
See also: quake, shoe

quake with something

to shake as with fear, terror, etc. Alice was quaking with fear as the door slowly opened. Todd quaked with terror when he saw the vicious dog at the door.
See also: quake

shake in one's boots

 and quake in one's boots
Fig. to be afraid; to shake from fear. I was shaking in my boots because I had to go see the manager for being late. Stop quaking in your boots, Bob. I'm not going to fire you.
See also: boot, shake

quake in one's boots

Also, shake in one's boots; quake or shake like a leaf . Tremble with fear, as in The very thought of a hurricane blowing in makes me quake in my boots. Both quake and shake here mean "tremble." These idioms were preceded by the alliterative phrase shake in one's shoes in the late 1800s. The idioms with leaf allude to trembling leaves, as in He was shaking like a leaf when the exams were handed back. A similar expression was used by Chaucer, who put it as quake like an aspen leaf, a particularly apt comparison since aspen leaves have flattened stems that cause the leaves to quiver in the gentlest breeze.
See also: boot, quake

be quaking in your boots

If someone is quaking in their boots, they are very frightened about something that is about to happen. If you stand up straight you'll give an impression of self confidence even if you're quaking in your boots. Note: Verbs such as shake, shiver, and tremble are sometimes used instead of quake. Someone had to tell the packed club that he wouldn't be appearing — you can imagine me shaking in my boots.
See also: boot, quake

(be) ˌquaking/ˌshaking in your ˈboots/ˈshoes

be very worried or frightened: The prospect of facing the team again in the semi-final had everyone quaking in their boots.
See also: boot, quake, shake, shoe
References in periodicals archive ?
The new pontiff, Pope Francis, surprised many when he voiced his sadness for the victims of the quake in his general audience last Wednesday, the day after the quake hit.
There, rocks frequently break apart, resulting in ground-shaking quakes.
Though surrounding areas also suffered quake damage, particularly in neighboring Osaka Prefecture, Hyogo cities and towns bore the heaviest shaking and devastation.
Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars and ID are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Id Software, Inc.
Those field data hinted that the quake measured a magnitude 7.
But Los Angeles residents have hours of warning to reach high ground before tidal waves arrive from Japan or Hawaii, the main hotbeds for Pacific Ocean-based quakes, experts said.
The agency said the islands could be hit by more quakes with strong tremors in the future as the crustal movement caused by the rise in magma continues.
Quake Global's Q2000+ and the Volvo Link Sentry have been standard equipment since late-2005 on the Volvo VT 880 and VT 830 tractors, with widespread customer acceptance.
The two quakes approached the 100-kilometer-long island of Simeulue from different directions.
Because of the regularity, researchers predicted the town would have a similarly large quake in 1988 - or anytime between 1983 and 1993.
The pressing question: Does this quake increase the likelihood that subsequent trembles could demolish nearby Istanbul with its population of 12 million?
The Hexago Quake III porting project also illustrates the advantages for IPv6 for gaming.
What surprised team members was that the virtual quake originating in the Central Apennines shook Rome for as long as a minute, he notes.
During the morning drill, firefighters scrambled to deal with a quake that presumably struck the Valley at 4:31 a.
The Earth doesn't work like a clock -- researchers didn't pick a single year for the quake.