shake in (one's) boots(redirected from they shake in their boots)
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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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
shake in one's bootsand 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer