the creeps

(redirected from the willies)

the creeps

Also, the willies. A sensation of horror or repugnance, as in That weird man gives me the creeps, or I get the willies when I hear that dirge music. The first of these colloquial terms alludes to a sensation of something crawling on one's skin. Charles Dickens used it in David Copperfield (1849) to describe a physical ailment: "She was constantly complaining of the cold and of its occasioning a visitation in her back, which she called 'the creeps.'" But soon after it was used to describe fear and loathing. The variant dates from the late 1800s, and both its allusion and origin are unclear.
See also: creep

the creeps

n. the jitters; a case of nerves. These movies always give me the creeps.
See also: creep
References in classic literature ?
Bert gives me the willies the way he's always lookin' for trouble.
And so, little by little, the character of Willie grew, till it ceased to be the Willie of the magazine story, and became Winfield Knight himself, with improvements.