shake in (one's) boots

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shake in (one's) boots

To tremble with fear. Usually used sarcastically. My brother is so strong and scary-looking that people shake in their boots when he threatens them. Ooh, I'm really scared of you! I'm shaking in my boots, you frighten me so!
See also: boot, shake

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
References in classic literature ?
Madame Ratignolle was in the salon, whither she had strayed in her suffering impatience.
cried Duncan, suffering the cloud to be chased from his countenance by a smile of open pleasure.
Here let me observe, that for some time we had experienced the most uncomfortable weather as a prelibation of our future sufferings.
Prying further into the manuscript, I found the record of other doings and sufferings of this singular woman, for most of which the reader is referred to the story entitled "THE SCARLET LETTER"; and it should be borne carefully in mind that the main facts of that story are authorized and authenticated by the document of Mr.
He came directly from the shoal which we had just before entered, and in which we had struck three of his companions, as if fired with revenge for their sufferings.
In order to appreciate the sufferings of the negroes sold south, it must be remembered that all the instinctive affections of that race are peculiarly strong.
I mean, episodes that showed that not all priests were frauds and self-seekers, but that many, even the great majority, of these that were down on the ground among the common people, were sincere and right-hearted, and devoted to the alleviation of human troubles and sufferings.
There were about seventy-five tourists at the hotel-- mainly ladies and little children--and they gave us an admiring welcome which paid us for all our privations and sufferings.
The Black Avenger stood still with folded arms, "looking his last" upon the scene of his former joys and his later sufferings, and wishing "she" could see him now, abroad on the wild sea, facing peril and death with dauntless heart, going to his doom with a grim smile on his lips.
fortunate for a large circle of friends and acquaint- ances, whose sympathy and affection he has strongly secured by the many sufferings he has endured, by his virtuous traits of character, by his ever-abiding remembrance of those who are in bonds, as being bound with them
The wants and sufferings of the poor family, however, were the first subject on meeting.
But this, from the momentary perverseness of impatient suffering, she at first refused to do.
In her turn, Helen Burns asked me to explain, and I proceeded forthwith to pour out, in my own way, the tale of my sufferings and resentments.
The kitchen-maid came next -- afflicted with the face-ache, and making no secret of her sufferings.
Lorry, pausing in his looking about, "that he keeps that reminder of his sufferings about him