be scared witless

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be scared witless

To be very severely frightened or worried. I was scared witless when I thought I heard footsteps on the staircase when no one else was home. We were scared witless when we woke up to the sound of the howler monkeys. We had no idea what it was coming from. I'm scared witless that the tests are going to come back positive.
See also: scare, witless

be scared/bored ˈwitless

(informal) be extremely frightened or bored: Despite his reputation as a tough guy, he admits that he was ‘scared witless’ when he first arrived in New York.
See also: bore, scare, witless
References in periodicals archive ?
For some reason, being scared witless and comedy has often gone hand-inhand - think An American Werewolf In London or Fright Night and you get the picture.
The public is being given a choice between being scared witless about the economy or being scared witless about foreigners.
But tonight, Roxy is upstairs being scared witless by a drunk, unemployed and highly annoyed Polish builder.
The attraction has moved from near London Bridge to a PS20million home by the London Eye and while my son and his pal, both 11, were very excited at the thought of being scared witless I was full of trepidation.
Branching off, so to speak, I remember being scared witless by my uncle's tales of a ghost train on the Huddersfield to Kirkburton line.
PSYCHOLOGISTS would tell you involuntary laughter is a sign of being scared witless.
No doubt someone of a nervous disposition who took a job on a fairground ghost train will shortly sue for being scared witless.
But the greater importance is people up and down the country are being scared witless by this.
But being scared witless by illogical things is clearly no obstacle to success, as Madonna's fear of storms or brontophobia, Hollywood star Drew Barrymore's claustrophobia and actress Christina Ricci's fear of houseplants (not yet named in the phobia files) all testify.
But being scared witless by illogical things is clearly no obstacle to success - as Madonna's fear of storms or brontophobia, Hollywood star Drew Barrymore's claustrophobia and actress Christina Ricci's fear of houseplants (not yet named in the phobia files) all testify.