Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

quake like a leaf

To tremble violently with fear or nervousness. My brother is so strong and scary-looking that he leaves people quaking like a leaf when he threatens them. I was quaking like a leaf when I went up to deliver my speech.
See also: leaf, like, quake

quake in (one's) boots

To tremble with fear or nervousness. (Sometimes said sarcastically.) My brother is so strong and scary-looking that people quake in their boots when he threatens them. Ooh, I'm really scared of you! I'm quaking in my boots, you frighten me so!
See also: boot, quake

be quaking in (one's) boots

To be trembling with fear or nervousness. (Sometimes said sarcastically.) Ooh, I'm really scared of you! I'm quaking in my boots, you frighten me so!
See also: boot, quake

quake with something

to shake as with fear, terror, etc. Alice was quaking with fear as the door slowly opened. Todd quaked with terror when he saw the vicious dog at the door.
See also: quake

shake in one's boots

 and quake in one's boots
Fig. to be afraid; to shake from fear. I was shaking in my boots because I had to go see the manager for being late. Stop quaking in your boots, Bob. I'm not going to fire you.
See also: boot, shake

quake in one's boots

Also, shake in one's boots; quake or shake like a leaf . Tremble with fear, as in The very thought of a hurricane blowing in makes me quake in my boots. Both quake and shake here mean "tremble." These idioms were preceded by the alliterative phrase shake in one's shoes in the late 1800s. The idioms with leaf allude to trembling leaves, as in He was shaking like a leaf when the exams were handed back. A similar expression was used by Chaucer, who put it as quake like an aspen leaf, a particularly apt comparison since aspen leaves have flattened stems that cause the leaves to quiver in the gentlest breeze.
See also: boot, quake

be quaking in your boots

If someone is quaking in their boots, they are very frightened about something that is about to happen. If you stand up straight you'll give an impression of self confidence even if you're quaking in your boots. Note: Verbs such as shake, shiver, and tremble are sometimes used instead of quake. Someone had to tell the packed club that he wouldn't be appearing — you can imagine me shaking in my boots.
See also: boot, quake

(be) ˌquaking/ˌshaking in your ˈboots/ˈshoes

be very worried or frightened: The prospect of facing the team again in the semi-final had everyone quaking in their boots.
See also: boot, quake, shake, shoe
References in periodicals archive ?
The quake also hit in mid-afternoon when most villagers would be outside.
In 1994, a powerful quake caused $20 billion in damage and killed 58 people in the Los Angeles area.
The strongest quake that the San Andreas fault is thought to be able to generate is under 8.
The way in which Japan's property laws obscure ownership, and hence retard rebuilding efforts, similarly surfaced in the aftermath of the quake.
Transcending the games industry, id's iconic brands such as Wolfenstein, DOOM, QUAKE and Enemy Territory have become staples of popular culture for generations of gamers.
For scientists then and now, some of the most useful data about the quake were recorded by distant instruments in Japan, Puerto Rico, and Europe, says Gregory C.
5 earthquake jolted the Central California coast, killing two people in Paso Robles - the state's first fatal quake since the 6.
Thursday's quakes brought the total number of quakes measuring lower 5 and above on the Izu islands since the series of quakes started in late June to 22, the agency added.
Quake Global's Q2000+ and the Volvo Link Sentry have been standard equipment since late-2005 on the Volvo VT 880 and VT 830 tractors, with widespread customer acceptance.
Shallow coral reefs around islands west of Sumatra chronicled the uplift and subsidence that resulted from massive quakes that struck that region recently, a new study shows.
Firefighters' effectiveness was tested that day and they responded with what officials say is a better-trained, better-equipped and more experienced Urban Search and Rescue Team - now veterans of the Northridge Quake and the 9-11 rescue operations in New York City.
The quake was centered in Izmit, a populous suburb of Istanbul, Turkey's largest city (see map, p.
MONTREAL -- Hexago, the leading provider of IPv6 deployment solutions, today announced that the popular gaming application, Quake III Arena, has been ported to IPv6, the next generation Internet protocol and the basis of the new Internet.
3 quake centered in the Alban Hills and a magnitude 7.
I think about it all the time,'' said Amalie Orme, a professor at California State University, Northridge, whose Woodland Hills house was lifted entirely off the ground by the quake.