Euphemisms for fear/anxiety?
July 20, 2005 6:51 PM   Subscribe

What are some (clean) euphemisms or colloquialisms for fear or anxiety?

Things along the lines of "cold feet", "chicken", "scaredy-cat", "lilly-livered", "yellow-bellied", etc.
posted by robbie01 to Society & Culture (28 answers total)
 
Nervous Nellie
Quaking in one's boots
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:01 PM on July 20, 2005


My personal favorite is "a case of the jibblies".
posted by wanderingmind at 7:03 PM on July 20, 2005


heebie jeebies
posted by TimeFactor at 7:04 PM on July 20, 2005


Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
posted by marxchivist at 7:20 PM on July 20, 2005


case of the willies
posted by forforf at 7:32 PM on July 20, 2005


butterflies (in the stomach)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:33 PM on July 20, 2005


bricking it

(as in 'shitting a brick')
posted by corvine at 7:38 PM on July 20, 2005


I always use 'skiddish'.
posted by angry modem at 8:26 PM on July 20, 2005


Not a complete list and not all clean, but:

kinds of scared or afraid:
bone-ass scared
leery
noid (rare)
ringy
scared (pea) green
scared pie-eyed
scared pink
scared pissless
scared spitless
scared stiff
spooky
streaked
too scared to piss out the window

to be scared or afraid:
to be in the gear with the fear
to keep a tight ass
to piss green
to pucker

scaryness:
pucker factor

to scare:
to scare the bejabbers out of
to scare the bejeebers out of
to scare the piss out of
to scare the snot out of

to be a coward:
to be yellow
to deuce out
to have a paper asshole
to have a streak of shit up one's back
to have cauliflower in your heart
to have dog in you
to have piss for blood
to have shit in one's blood
to punk out
to weasel out
to yellow out
to yellow up

cowardice:
punk
rabbit
yellow-fever

coward:
candy-ass
chickenshit
no-nuts
pansy
pussy
yellowtail

cowardly:
chickenshit
nutless
turkey
yellow-backed
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:35 PM on July 20, 2005


Sketched out, wigged out, tweaked...

My personal favorite is from a friend. We kicked off an avalanche one day, and later when asked by his GF how the day was, he replied "It was fully engaging". It's now extended to "It's a pretty engaging route" and other similar uses.
posted by tumble at 8:48 PM on July 20, 2005


Rattled
Sweating bullets
On edge
posted by Clay201 at 8:49 PM on July 20, 2005


I always liked the southern twang versions of these statements and always picture some sort of hillbilly with a piece of straw in his mouth using the words "afeared" and "yeller".
posted by freshgroundpepper at 8:59 PM on July 20, 2005


angry modem: do you mean skittish?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:52 PM on July 20, 2005


Great answers, thanks everyone!
posted by robbie01 at 10:36 PM on July 20, 2005


Hinky
posted by jimfl at 10:54 PM on July 20, 2005


Choke
posted by Manjusri at 1:41 AM on July 21, 2005


When I was at school (in Australia) a very cowardly person was called a "gutless wonder"; and to lose one's nerve is "to bottle it" (or to lose one's bottle)
posted by bunglin jones at 1:53 AM on July 21, 2005


panic pants
posted by TheDonF at 4:04 AM on July 21, 2005


scaredy gowk
posted by the cuban at 5:24 AM on July 21, 2005


Not sure if this is a euphemism or dysphemism, but "paranoid".
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:26 AM on July 21, 2005


Tom Lehrer: nervous like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.
posted by of strange foe at 7:29 AM on July 21, 2005


Getting your knickers in a twist.
posted by ozziemaland at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2005


Marxchivist, I'm familiar with that same phrase, but tweaked:
"Nervous as a nine-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs."
posted by clever sheep at 9:00 AM on July 21, 2005


Not clean, but my personal favorite has always been: "S/He was shakin' like a dog shittin' bones."
posted by Heatwole at 9:06 AM on July 21, 2005


the fantods
posted by Heminator at 2:05 PM on July 21, 2005


Nervous as a dog shitting razor blades.
posted by Mack Twain at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2005


Turn to jelly.
posted by tellurian at 5:18 PM on July 21, 2005


Oh - and another one from school: "Packing death"
posted by bunglin jones at 7:03 PM on July 21, 2005


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