Top 32 Slang For Scared – Meaning & Usage

Feeling scared is a universal emotion that we all experience at some point. But how do we express our fear in the language of today? Fear not, because we’ve got you covered! In this listicle, we’ve compiled the top slang for scared that will have you feeling like a pro at expressing your fright. From spine-chilling phrases to heart-pounding acronyms, get ready to amp up your scared game and navigate the world of fear with confidence.

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1. Scared the living daylights out of me!

This phrase is used to describe a situation or experience that caused extreme fear or startled someone. It emphasizes the intensity of the fear felt.

  • For example, “That horror movie scared the living daylights out of me!”
  • Someone might say, “The loud crash scared the living daylights out of me!”
  • Another person might exclaim, “The roller coaster drop scared the living daylights out of me!”

2. Shook like a leaf

This phrase is used to describe someone who is visibly shaking or trembling due to fear or nervousness. It emphasizes the physical reaction to fear.

  • For instance, “When I saw the spider, I shook like a leaf.”
  • A person might say, “I was so scared during the thunderstorm, I shook like a leaf!”
  • Another might describe their reaction to a scary movie by saying, “The suspense had me shaking like a leaf!”

3. Afraid of one’s own shadow

This phrase is used to describe someone who is overly fearful or easily frightened. It suggests that the person is so scared that even their own shadow can startle them.

  • For example, “He’s afraid of his own shadow, always on edge.”
  • A person might say, “I’m so jumpy, I’m afraid of my own shadow!”
  • Another might describe a friend by saying, “She’s afraid of her own shadow, always looking over her shoulder.”

4. Quaking in my boots

This phrase is used to describe someone who is shaking or trembling due to fear or extreme nervousness. It emphasizes the physical reaction to fear.

  • For instance, “The loud thunder had me quaking in my boots.”
  • A person might say, “I was quaking in my boots when I had to give a presentation.”
  • Another might describe their reaction to a scary movie by saying, “The suspense had me quaking in my boots!”

5. Scared stiff

This phrase is used to describe someone who is so scared that they are unable to move or act. It suggests a state of extreme fear that immobilizes a person.

  • For example, “When I saw the ghost, I was scared stiff.”
  • A person might say, “The thought of public speaking scares me stiff!”
  • Another might describe their reaction to a jump scare by saying, “I was scared stiff, unable to move for a moment!”

6. Act of God

Refers to an event or circumstance that is beyond human control and is often associated with natural disasters. The term “act of God” implies that the event is so extraordinary that no one could have foreseen or prevented it.

  • For example, “The hurricane was considered an act of God, causing widespread destruction.”
  • In insurance policies, a clause might state, “Damage caused by an act of God is not covered.”
  • During a discussion about climate change, someone might say, “We need to be prepared for more frequent and severe acts of God.”

7. Batten down the hatches

Originally a nautical term, it means to secure everything in preparation for an impending storm. In a figurative sense, it means to prepare oneself or one’s surroundings for a difficult or challenging situation.

  • For instance, “With the company facing financial difficulties, it’s time to batten down the hatches and cut unnecessary expenses.”
  • During a team meeting, a manager might say, “We’re entering a busy period, so let’s batten down the hatches and ensure we’re all prepared.”
  • In a conversation about a pending lawsuit, someone might advise, “You should batten down the hatches and gather all necessary evidence.”

8. Close shave

Refers to a situation where someone narrowly avoids a dangerous or risky outcome. The term “close shave” is often used metaphorically to describe a close call or near miss.

  • For example, “I had a close shave this morning when a car ran a red light right in front of me.”
  • A person might recount, “I had a close shave with a shark while surfing in Australia.”
  • In a discussion about a near collision, someone might say, “That was a close shave. We were inches away from a major accident.”

9. Dicey situation

Describes a situation that is potentially dangerous, risky, or unpredictable. The term “dicey” implies that the outcome is uncertain and could be unfavorable.

  • For instance, “Investing in cryptocurrency can be a dicey situation, as the market is highly volatile.”
  • During a conversation about a complicated legal case, someone might say, “The evidence is weak, so it’s a dicey situation for the prosecution.”
  • In a discussion about a challenging business decision, a manager might state, “It’s a dicey situation, but we need to take a calculated risk.”

10. Fraught with danger

Describes a situation that is filled with potential danger or risk. The term “fraught” suggests that the situation is filled with tension or anxiety.

  • For example, “Exploring the deep sea is fraught with danger due to the extreme conditions.”
  • During a conversation about a dangerous hiking trail, someone might say, “The path is fraught with danger, so make sure you’re prepared.”
  • In a discussion about a high-risk mission, a military officer might state, “The operation is fraught with danger, but it’s necessary for national security.”

11. Shook

This term is used to describe someone who is feeling nervous or shocked, often as a result of a surprising or intense experience.

  • For example, “I was shook when I saw a ghost in my house.”
  • A person might say, “That horror movie had me shook for days.”
  • Another might exclaim, “I can’t believe she won the competition! I’m shook!”

12. Jumpy

When someone is jumpy, it means they are easily startled or nervous. This can be due to fear or anxiety.

  • For instance, “Don’t sneak up on me like that, you know I’m jumpy!”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been feeling really jumpy lately, I think it’s the stress.”
  • Another might comment, “The loud noises in the haunted house made everyone feel jumpy.”

13. Panicky

To be panicky means to feel extreme fear or anxiety, often in a situation that feels overwhelming or uncontrollable.

  • For example, “I felt panicky when I realized I was lost in the middle of the woods.”
  • A person might say, “I always get panicky before a big presentation.”
  • Another might admit, “Crowded places make me feel panicky and claustrophobic.”

14. Skittish

Skittish is used to describe someone who is nervous or easily frightened. It often implies a lack of confidence or a tendency to be easily startled.

  • For instance, “The skittish dog hid under the bed during the thunderstorm.”
  • A person might say, “I’m skittish around spiders, they just creep me out.”
  • Another might comment, “The skittish horse was difficult to train because it was easily spooked.”

15. Frightened

Frightened simply means feeling fear or scared. It is a more general term for being in a state of fear or apprehension.

  • For example, “I was frightened when I saw a snake in my backyard.”
  • A person might say, “She looked frightened when she heard the loud noise.”
  • Another might admit, “I’m too frightened to watch horror movies, they give me nightmares.”

16. Anxious

Anxious is a term used to describe a feeling of unease or worry. It often refers to a state of heightened anticipation or nervousness.

  • For example, “I’m feeling anxious about the upcoming exam.”
  • Someone might say, “I always get anxious before public speaking.”
  • A person experiencing anxiety might describe it as, “I have this constant anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach.”

17. Nervous

Nervous is a term used to describe a state of unease or apprehension. It often refers to a feeling of worry or anxiety, especially in anticipation of something.

  • For instance, “I’m nervous about the job interview tomorrow.”
  • A person might say, “I always get nervous before a big presentation.”
  • Someone experiencing nervousness might describe it as, “My heart races and I start sweating whenever I feel nervous.”

18. Startled

Startled refers to the feeling of being surprised or frightened suddenly. It often involves a quick and involuntary reaction to a sudden event or noise.

  • For example, “I was startled by the loud noise.”
  • Someone might say, “The sudden appearance of the spider startled me.”
  • A person describing being startled might say, “My heart skipped a beat when the car honked loudly behind me.”

19. Spine-chilling

Spine-chilling is a term used to describe something that causes extreme fear or horror. It often refers to a feeling that sends shivers down one’s spine.

  • For instance, “The horror movie had many spine-chilling moments.”
  • A person might say, “The haunted house was filled with spine-chilling screams.”
  • Someone describing a spine-chilling experience might say, “I felt a cold chill run down my spine when I heard the ghostly whisper.”

20. Creeped out

Creeped out is a term used to describe a feeling of unease or discomfort. It often refers to a sense of being repulsed or disturbed by something.

  • For example, “The abandoned house gave me a creepy feeling and I felt creeped out.”
  • Someone might say, “I don’t like spiders, they really creep me out.”
  • A person describing being creeped out might say, “I had a creepy encounter with a stranger that left me feeling really creeped out.”

21. Hesitant

When someone is hesitant, they are unsure or reluctant to do something. It often implies a lack of confidence or fear of the unknown.

  • For example, “She was hesitant to jump off the diving board because she was afraid of heights.”
  • In a discussion about taking risks, someone might say, “I’m always hesitant to try something new because I fear failure.”
  • A person might express their hesitation by saying, “I’m hesitant to go camping because I’m scared of bugs.”

22. Timid

Being timid means being shy or lacking confidence in oneself. It often implies a fear of social interaction or a reluctance to assert oneself.

  • For instance, “He was too timid to ask his crush out on a date.”
  • In a conversation about public speaking, someone might say, “I become very timid when I have to speak in front of a large audience.”
  • A person might describe themselves as timid by saying, “I’m too timid to try new things because I’m scared of failure.”

23. Apprehensive

Feeling apprehensive means feeling nervous or anxious about something. It often implies a sense of unease or fear about a future event or situation.

  • For example, “She was apprehensive about starting a new job because she didn’t know anyone.”
  • In a discussion about skydiving, someone might say, “I’m feeling apprehensive about jumping out of a plane.”
  • A person might express their apprehension by saying, “I’m apprehensive about going to the dentist because I’m scared of needles.”

24. Trembling

When someone is trembling, they are shaking or quivering, often due to fear or anxiety. It is a physical manifestation of being scared or nervous.

  • For instance, “Her hands were trembling as she stepped on stage to give a speech.”
  • In a conversation about encountering a wild animal, someone might say, “I was trembling with fear when I saw the bear.”
  • A person might describe their trembling by saying, “I couldn’t control my trembling when I heard a loud noise.”

25. Nervous wreck

A nervous wreck is someone who is extremely anxious or fearful. It implies a state of being overwhelmed by nerves or fear, to the point of feeling mentally or emotionally unstable.

  • For example, “She was a nervous wreck before her job interview.”
  • In a discussion about flying, someone might say, “I become a nervous wreck whenever I have to board a plane.”
  • A person might describe themselves as a nervous wreck by saying, “I’m a nervous wreck when it comes to public speaking because I’m scared of embarrassing myself.”

26. Chicken-hearted

This term refers to someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It implies that the person’s heart is as weak as a chicken’s.

  • For example, “Don’t be chicken-hearted, stand up for yourself!”
  • A person might describe themselves as chicken-hearted and say, “I can’t watch horror movies, I’m too chicken-hearted.”
  • In a conversation about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be chicken-hearted, but now I’m more brave.”

27. Scaredy-cat

This term is used to describe someone who is easily scared or afraid to take risks. It compares the person to a scaredy-cat, which is a common phrase for a frightened cat.

  • For instance, “Don’t be such a scaredy-cat, it’s just a little spider.”
  • A person might tease their friend and say, “You’re such a scaredy-cat, you won’t even go on the roller coaster.”
  • In a discussion about bravery, someone might say, “I used to be a scaredy-cat, but now I’m more adventurous.”

28. Cowed

This term means to be frightened or made to feel inferior by someone or something. It implies that the person has been subdued or tamed.

  • For example, “The bully cowed his classmates into giving him their lunch money.”
  • A person might say, “I felt cowed by the aggressive behavior of the other team.”
  • In a conversation about standing up for oneself, someone might say, “Don’t let anyone cow you into silence.”

29. Shivery

This term describes the physical sensation of shivering or trembling due to fear or extreme nervousness. It suggests a feeling of coldness or chills running down one’s spine.

  • For instance, “I felt shivery after watching that horror movie.”
  • A person might say, “The thought of speaking in public makes me shivery.”
  • In a discussion about fear, someone might say, “I get shivery whenever I have to confront my phobias.”

30. Wimped out

This term means to fail to follow through with something due to fear or lack of courage. It implies that the person chickened out or acted in a weak manner.

  • For example, “He wimped out and didn’t go on the roller coaster.”
  • A person might say, “I wimped out and didn’t confront my boss about the issue.”
  • In a conversation about taking risks, someone might admit, “I wimped out and didn’t try skydiving.”

31. Cowering

Cowering refers to the act of crouching or hunching down in fear or submission. It is a physical manifestation of being scared or intimidated.

  • For example, “The dog was cowering in the corner after being scolded.”
  • In a horror movie, a character might cower in fear when confronted by a monster.
  • A person might cower in the face of a bully, trying to protect themselves from harm.
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32. Fraidy-cat

Fraidy-cat is a term used to describe someone who is easily scared or fearful. It implies that the person lacks courage or bravery.

  • For instance, “Don’t be such a fraidy-cat, it’s just a harmless spider.”
  • A person might tease their friend, saying, “You’re such a fraidy-cat, you won’t even go on the roller coaster.”
  • In a scary situation, someone might say, “I’m not going in there, I’m a total fraidy-cat.”