the shock of life

the shock of (one's) life

An extreme and sudden sensation of shock, surprise, or fear. Often used after the verbs "get" or "give." Seeing the car swerve right in front of her gave Mary the shock of her life. I got the shock of my life when I noticed someone standing right behind me. Little did he know that he was in for the shock of his life when he crossed the threshold of the old mansion.
See also: life, of, shock

*the shock of one's life

Fig. a serious (emotional) shock. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) I opened the telegram and got the shock of my life. I had the shock of my life when I won $5,000.
See also: life, of, shock
References in periodicals archive ?
Two qualities that were often found lacking in the early months of last season when they struggled to adapt to the shock of life in the bottom tier.
A movie-set source tells me: "Brad got the shock of life.
Nothing can prepare a new dancer for the shock of life in the corps.
The water was cool as ice in the night and the shock of life was waiting for us there.
Millionaire Nick Leslau comes to Scotland, and finds that his huge wealth and business success can't prepare him for the shock of life in a housing scheme in Glasgow.