put the frighteners on

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

threaten or intimidate. British informal
Literally, a frightener is a thug who intimidates victims on behalf of a gang.
1998 John Milne Alive & Kicking She decides to put the frighteners on him by hiring me as a private detective.
See also: frighteners, on, put

put the ˈfrighteners on (somebody)

(British English, slang) threaten somebody so that they will do what you want: They started putting the frighteners on the witness, sending him threatening letters.
See also: frighteners, on, put
References in periodicals archive ?
But struggling Giants put the frighteners on them throughout, leading twice in the first half and pulling level midway through the second.
|I can't believe how much certain folk high up in the Labour Party are trying to put the frighteners on people about Jeremy Corbyn.
Tony sends a couple |of thugs to put the frighteners on Liz
Tony sends a couple of thugs |to put the frighteners on Liz
He calls up a couple of his thug chums and instructs them to put the frighteners on his missus.
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?
IF YOU are looking for a new cocktail to put the frighteners on your friends this Halloween, Smirnoff have got just the thing.
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.
MAAMA MOLITIKA will return to boost the Cardiff Blues today and bid to put the frighteners on the Falcons.
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.
HALLOWEEN may still be weeks away but a Wirral pumpkin farm is already preparing to put the frighteners on its customers.
When David stumbles in on Lauren bullying his niece, Bethany, he seizes the chance to put the frighteners on the schoolgirl.
He calls up a couple of his thuggy chums and instructs them to put the frighteners on his missus.