scare out of one's wits

(redirected from the pants off)

scare out of one's wits

Also, frighten out of one's wits; scare stiff or silly or to death or the living daylights out of or the pants off . Terrify, make one panic, as in When the lights went out, she was scared out of her wits, or I was scared stiff that I would fail the driver's test. The first of these hyperbolic terms, scare out of one's wits, is the oldest and, like silly, suggests one is frightened enough to lose one's mind. The verb scare dates from about 1200, and out of one's wits was first recorded in William Tyndale's translation of the Bible in 1526 (I Corinthians 14:23): "Will they not say that ye are out of your wits?" They were first put together in 1697, the same period from which came scare out of one's seven senses, a usage now obsolete. The variant using daylights, which sometimes occurs without living, dates from the 1950s. Daylights at one time referred to the eyes but here means "vital organs." Frighten to death was first recorded in Charles Dickens's Barnaby Rudge (1840) and scare to death probably appeared about the same time. However, to death used as an intensifier dates from the 1500s. These terms allude to the fact that a sudden fright can precipitate cardiac arrest. Scare stiff, first recorded in 1905, alludes to the temporary paralysis that can accompany intense fear. For the last variant, see also under pants off.
See also: of, out, scare, wit
References in periodicals archive ?
The fear of death can be too great to bear, The prospect of finding yourself some place That you do not know, neither here nor there, Lost somewhere on the other side of space, Nothing you recognise, no friendly face, Would scare the pants off someone made from stone, All other pains boil down to this dismay.
Now she's finished doing promo for her new movie Rudderless, Selena Gomez can finally admit that she fancied the pants off her much older co-star.
IT'S HARD to believe that it is more than 15 years since the original British comedy The Full Monty charmed the pants off audiences in the nation's cinemas.
Posing as his deranged ex Kirsty, she has tried to scare the pants off him - she wishes - with a series of malicious texts.
Lebanon Finally Approves IKEA's Solar-Powered Flat Pack Shelters For Syrian Refugees These shelters kick the pants off of the traditional refugee tents: they are bigger inside, last longer and even have solar panels
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Roddick disclosed that he pinned Djokovic up against a locker in the US Open dressing room after Djokovic 'beat the pants off him' in a match between the two at the final major championship of the ATP tennis season.
Ghost Buddy: How to Scare the Pants off your Pets by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, PS5.
30pm) | MORE formidable than Gordon Ramsay and more glamorous than Nigella, Fanny Cradock scared the pants off TV viewers in the 1970s as she attempted to teach us how to be domestic goddesses long before the aforementioned Ms Lawson came up with the idea.
Heartbeat heartthrob is set to scare the pants off us in new play P4&5
Yeah, thought so 12 ronan keating The blonde Boyzoner and Aussie X Factor judge charms the pants off us.
00pm) WE CAN'T can't seem to get enough of shows that scare the pants off us with science, and this edition of Horizon is going to do that with aplomb.
A turn-up as Monty eyes Daly's trousers JOHN DALY reckons a pair of strident strides would help Colin Montgomerie beat the pants off golf's young guns.
It's the story of two men who both fancy the pants off the same woman (French beauty Jeanne Moreau).
Robinson's production at the Pasadena Playhouse (the same arena where ``Doubt'' had its West Coast premiere, by the way), the cast acts the pants off of it.
I hope Lynda sues the pants off the council and the bullying bailiffs.