the shock of (one's) life

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the shock of (one's) life

An extreme and sudden sensation of shock, surprise, or fear. Often used after the verbs "get" or "give." Seeing the car swerve right in front of her gave Mary the shock of her life. I got the shock of my life when I noticed someone standing right behind me. Little did he know that he was in for the shock of his life when he crossed the threshold of the old mansion.
See also: life, of, shock

*the shock of one's life

Fig. a serious (emotional) shock. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) I opened the telegram and got the shock of my life. I had the shock of my life when I won $5,000.
See also: life, of, shock
References in classic literature ?
It was the shock of my life. For a moment it had turned me to a cynic.
I got the shock of my life when I found my car scraped and bashed.
They hadn't considered the fact it would electrocute me if it got into the microphone and I got the shock of my life.
What happened there left Nadia's 14-year-old bruised and badly shaken, Said Nadia, "I went to the audition hoping it would be good for my child, but instead got the shock of my life. When my daughter's turn came, the judge (name withheld for legal reasons) grabbed her roughly from the shoulder and pulled her, leaving her with deep bruises on both arms." Soon after the incident, Nadia took her daughter to Dubai's Rashid Hospital.
I HAD the shock of my life last week - a nice, pleasant dustman.
"When I picked the bag up I thought that's a bit heavier than usual and then I had the shock of my life.
A spring snapped and gave me the shock of my life. Scary!
We have had no help from any big businesses and when I was visited by Brian Fleet today, I got the shock of my life. It is wonderful to know that now I can help so many more families and young people through the internet and all thanks to the kindness of Tesco.
I GOT the shock of my life when I returned from the funeral of a friend, Gurcharan Gossal, to discover my great pal Wilbert Cock, landlord of the Station Tavern, had died of cancer.
I saw a Zulu Falkland helicopter in the car park, I saw two young army lads with buckets; as I got closer I got the shock of my life.
He said: "I got the shock of my life when I saw my mug standing 8ft tall outside.
I got the shock of my life -only 27 signed after three hours.
I got the shock of my life to see my little boy, ashen-faced and strapped to a spinal stretcher.
One driver who managed to snap a picture of the marsupial said: "I got the shock of my life. It was just there in the road.
"When I got there I had the shock of my life. He had lost so much weight and he had aged so much.