put the frighteners on (someone)

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put the frighteners on (someone)

To frighten, threaten, or intimidate someone. Primarily heard in UK. Chelsea put the frighteners on Manchester United early on the in match, scoring a goal in the first five minutes and keeping constant pressure on their defence. The situation is so dire that banks have reportedly been sending round warning letters to try and put the frighteners on those whose mortgages are in arrears.
See also: frighteners, on, put

put the frighteners on someone

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone puts the frighteners on you, they threaten you or scare you. He and his chums tried to put the frighteners on Kelley before she had written a single word. Glenn Close put the frighteners on Michael Douglas and his family in `Fatal Attraction'. Note: `Frighteners' used to be a name for members of criminal gangs who were sent to frighten people into doing something.
See also: frighteners, on, put
References in periodicals archive ?
Tony sends a couple of thugs |to put the frighteners on Liz
Tony sends a couple |of thugs to put the frighteners on Liz
EMMERDALE ITV 7pm and 8pm David tries to put the frighteners on Lachlan.
Was he under a stone when Ukip polled most votes in May 2014, or when Ukip won Rochester and Strood, or when Ukip won Clacton, or came second at Eastleigh, or came close to winning Middleton, or put the frighteners on Lib Lab Con at just about every election in the last five years?
Bookmakers, left battered and bruised by the results from matchday one, are now left fearing another horror story as eight odds-on favourites bid to put the frighteners on the reeling layers.
BRADFORD 2 NORTHAMPTON 0 PROMOTION expert Peter Taylor is ready to put the frighteners on League Two again next season.
MAAMA MOLITIKA will return to boost the Cardiff Blues today and bid to put the frighteners on the Falcons.
It would certainly put the frighteners on the scum who deal in such crime and I would be only too willing to pull the lever.
Mr Foster, of Banff, said: "These measures sound good but I think the police need to put the frighteners on these young drivers.
Then Sean brazenly visits Johnny in prison and isn't bothered when he tries to put the frighteners on him.
Trying to put the frighteners on developers and local authorities is not a solution.
CALL centre staff in Liverpool put the frighteners on for charity.
HALLOWEEN may still be weeks away but a Wirral pumpkin farm is already preparing to put the frighteners on its customers.
The two-ton miniature engine was taken from a Lanarkshire garden centre to put the frighteners on owner Jim Warnock.
Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0 SUPERSUB Ayoze Perez put the frighteners on Liverpool with the goal that sealed a FOURTH successive win for Newcastle.