the creeps(redirected from the willies)
A sense of intense, unpleasant disquietude, typically due to something strange, eerie, or off-putting. I stay away from that old house on the corner—it gives me the creeps! Why is that guy just standing around and not talking to anyone? He's giving me the creeps!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, the willies. A sensation of horror or repugnance, as in That weird man gives me the creeps, or I get the willies when I hear that dirge music. The first of these colloquial terms alludes to a sensation of something crawling on one's skin. Charles Dickens used it in David Copperfield (1849) to describe a physical ailment: "She was constantly complaining of the cold and of its occasioning a visitation in her back, which she called 'the creeps.'" But soon after it was used to describe fear and loathing. The variant dates from the late 1800s, and both its allusion and origin are unclear.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. the jitters; a case of nerves. These movies always give me the creeps.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.