afraid of (one's) own shadow

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afraid of (one's) own shadow

Easily scared; jumpy; timid. Everyone was surprised that Janice led the meeting with confidence, as she normally seems afraid of her own shadow. Please don't take my sister to a haunted house on Halloween—she's afraid of her own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of one's own shadow

Fig. easily frightened; always frightened, timid, or suspicious. (An exaggeration.) After Tom was robbed, he was even afraid of his own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of one's own shadow

Very timid and fearful, as in Richard constantly worries about security; he's afraid of his own shadow. This hyperbole has been used in English since the early 1500s, and some writers believe it originated in ancient Greece.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of your own shadow

If someone is afraid of their own shadow, they are very nervous and shy. She's afraid of everything these days — afraid of her own shadow. Note: Adjectives such as scared or frightened can be used instead of afraid. He used to be scared of his own shadow as a little boy.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of (or frightened of) your own shadow

unreasonably timid or nervous.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of one's own shadow

Extremely timid, excessively fearful. In Richard III (ca. 1513), Sir Thomas More wrote, “Who may lette her feare her owne shadowe,” although a few years later Erasmus cited Plato as having said the same thing in Greek hundreds of years before. Henry David Thoreau used the phrase to describe the timidity of Concord’s town selectmen in refusing to toll the parish bell at John Brown’s hanging (1859), and by then it had been in use for at least two centuries.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow
References in periodicals archive ?
China and America are great countries, but they are being badly governed - one by Leninist autocrats afraid of their own shadow, and the other by a bizarre populist who prefers despots to liberal democrats.
Where everyone is afraid of their own shadow. And where virtue-signalling tattletales are celebrated.
This classic piece could have viewers afraid of their own shadow.
"The Zionists are today even afraid of their own shadow (and are) therefore trying to control this disappointing atmosphere by brouhaha and psychological warfare, but should know that propaganda will not resolve their problems," Vahidi said.
"Because they are afraid of their own shadow," he answered, implying that prospective client fears about how best to implement security protocols could be the cloud's undoing.
I'd say the Democrats are afraid of their own shadow, but I'm not sure they actually cast one these days.
''This is because they feel guilty...they have committed all sorts of actions like killing and oppressing others and as such, they are afraid of their own shadow, afraid to come here, afraid because they know there are many people in this world hating them,'' the official news agency Bernama quoted Mahathir as saying in Sabah State.
What we do not want is wimpish waffling politicians almost afraid of their own shadow.
"I think mortgage lending will continue to remain high because lenders are still afraid of their own shadow. Mortgage rates are at low levels that lenders have no margin to work with so they are still struggling." Miller added, "based on what we see now there's a chance that rates will remain at their near records lows.
Believe me, many of these governors are simply afraid of their own shadows. This government is too focused on letting the world know what it has delivered and what it is going to do than trying to cause disaffection in any state.
The problem is the Senate, where Republicans hold a razor-thin majority, Democrat leaders are determined to block any pro-rights legislation, and Republican leaders are afraid of their own shadows.
'The 30th IB PA troops were afraid of their own shadows after they heard that the NPA will attack their camp in the Multi-Purpose Barangay Hall in Budlingin,' he said.
People are sometimes said to be afraid of their own shadows, not a pretty state!
But, he noted, because mortgage lending and underwriting has not eased, it has actually prevented a housing boom of even greater proportions, with "lenders afraid of their own shadows."
Too many people in positions of moderate responsibility are almost literally afraid of their own shadows, reluctant to make decisions in case something goes wrong or they contravene procedures.