Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
give (one) the creeps
To make one feel wary or uneasy due to eeriness or strange behavior. 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!
give (one) the heebie-jeebies
To cause one to feel an extreme or acute sensation of fear, apprehension, worry, or anxiety. Walking through a graveyard always gives me the heebie-jeebies. All these ghost stories are giving me the heebie-jeebies.
See also: give
give (one) the willies
To cause one to have a feeling of fear, dread, or squeamishness. Can we get out of here? This creepy old house is giving me the willies! Ack, seeing that tank of cockroaches gave me 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!
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.
see under the creeps.
give you the williesINFORMAL
If something gives you the willies, it makes you feel nervous or frightened. This place gives me the willies. Living on the mountainside is enough to give anyone the willies — especially when the wolves howl.
give somebody the ˈwillies/heebie-ˈjeebies/ˈcreeps(informal) make somebody feel nervous or afraid: Being alone in this old house gives me the willies. ♢ He gives me the creeps. He’s got such strange eyes.
n. the jitters; a case of nerves. These movies always give me the creeps.
n. a case of fear or anxiety. (see also screaming-meemies.) That kind of movie always gives me the willies.