shake in boots

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

shake in (one's) boots

To tremble with fear. Often 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

shake in one's shoes/boots, to

To be in a state of terror or extreme nervousness. This vivid image of trembling with fear has been around since about 1800. William Cobbett is recorded as having said it (Political Register, 1818): “This is quite enough to make Corruption and all her tribe shake in their shoes.” See also scared silly.
See also: shake, shoe