quake in (one's) boots

(redirected from quaking in their boots)

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

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) 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 cinematic opening sets a standard which will have TV producers the world over quaking in their boots - and viewers everywhere salivating at the prospect of more.
If anyone just thought I was trying to pad my resume, they can suck my boobs Cara Delevingne has critics quaking in their boots after standing up for her newish acting career.
Chinese officials must be quaking in their boots at Britain's response to their treatment of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
While some Egyptian entertainment types are quaking in their boots about the most recent unrest in their country, Ahmad Mekki , is determined that the show will go on.
However, it was the performance of runner-up Blueberry Fizz that would have had a few in-running layers quaking in their boots.
There must be a lot of Lib-Dems quaking in their boots in the run-up to the May elections.
With his nononsense attitude and her batting eyelids, rogue traders up and down the country have been left quaking in their boots.
Cops say that in most cases, just the sight of a Taser will have hardened criminals quaking in their boots.
Salami also claimed that a recent Iranian military exercise had the Americans quaking in their boots.
News that Asda is to descend on Coronation Street will have Dev, Rita and Ashley quaking in their boots.
I hope we've got a few clubs quaking in their boots," he said.
I can hear husbands across the land quaking in their boots and opening secret Swiss bank accounts.
Somehow I don't think the builders of fossil-fuel generating plants are quaking in their boots.
They will show that the English are absolutely terrified - they are quaking in their boots," crowed Maradona.
If the Vatican operated like a normal government or political party, a book like Papal Sin might have a lot of curial types quaking in their boots.