Top 47 Slang For Timid – Meaning & Usage

Are you feeling a little shy about keeping up with the latest slang? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Our team has scoured the internet to put together a list of the top slang for the timid. So whether you’re feeling a bit hesitant or just want to expand your vocabulary, we’ve got just the right words to help you navigate the ever-evolving world of language. Stay tuned to boost your confidence and impress your friends with these new terms!

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1. Chicken

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It can also refer to someone who avoids taking risks or is easily intimidated.

  • For example, “Don’t be such a chicken, just try it!”
  • In a discussion about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be a chicken, but now I face my fears head-on.”
  • A person might jokingly say, “I’m too chicken to go skydiving!”

2. Wimp

This slang term is used to describe someone who is weak, easily scared, or lacks strength or courage. It is often used in a derogatory manner.

  • For instance, “He’s such a wimp, he can’t even lift a heavy box.”
  • In a conversation about standing up for oneself, someone might say, “Don’t let others walk all over you, show them you’re not a wimp.”
  • A person might playfully tease a friend, saying, “You wimped out of going on the roller coaster!”

3. Scaredy-cat

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or afraid of taking risks. It is often used in a lighthearted or teasing manner.

  • For example, “Don’t be such a scaredy-cat, it’s just a little spider.”
  • In a conversation about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be a scaredy-cat, but now I try new things without hesitation.”
  • A person might playfully mock a friend, saying, “Are you too much of a scaredy-cat to go on the haunted house ride?”

4. Yellow-bellied

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It originated from the belief that a person’s belly turns yellow when they are scared.

  • For instance, “He’s too yellow-bellied to confront his problems.”
  • In a discussion about bravery, someone might say, “Don’t be yellow-bellied, stand up for what you believe in.”
  • A person might jokingly say, “I’m feeling a bit yellow-bellied about going on that roller coaster.”

5. Milquetoast

This term is used to describe someone who is timid, meek, or lacks assertiveness. It originated from the comic strip character Caspar Milquetoast, who was portrayed as a weak and ineffectual person.

  • For example, “He’s such a milquetoast, he never stands up for himself.”
  • In a conversation about confidence, someone might say, “Don’t be a milquetoast, speak up and share your opinions.”
  • A person might playfully tease a friend, saying, “You’re too milquetoast to try that daring adventure!”

6. Jellyfish

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It compares the person to a jellyfish, which is known for its soft and spineless nature.

  • For example, in a group discussion, someone might say, “Don’t be such a jellyfish, stand up for yourself!”
  • A parent might scold their child by saying, “Stop acting like a jellyfish and face your fears.”
  • In a sports context, a coach might criticize a player by saying, “You played like a jellyfish out there, no aggression at all.”

7. Nervous Nellie

This term is used to describe someone who is constantly anxious or easily stressed. It is often used in a lighthearted or affectionate manner.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “Don’t be such a nervous Nellie, everything will be fine.”
  • In a work setting, a colleague might joke, “We can always count on you to be the nervous Nellie before a big presentation.”
  • A family member might say, “You’ve always been a nervous Nellie, even as a child.”

8. Shylock

This term is derived from the character Shylock in Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” and is used to describe someone who is excessively timid or shy. It can carry negative connotations due to its association with the character’s negative traits.

  • For example, a friend might tease, “Stop being such a Shylock and join the conversation.”
  • In a social setting, someone might say, “He’s a bit of a Shylock, always hiding in the corner.”
  • A teacher might encourage a shy student by saying, “Don’t be a Shylock, speak up and share your ideas.”

9. Mouse

This term is used to describe someone who is timid or lacks confidence. It compares the person to a small and easily frightened mouse.

  • For instance, a boss might say, “I need someone more assertive, not a mouse.”
  • In a social setting, a friend might say, “Don’t be a mouse, stand up for yourself.”
  • A teacher might encourage a shy student by saying, “Don’t be such a mouse, let your voice be heard.”

10. Timorous

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or fearful. It implies a lack of courage or confidence.

  • For example, a friend might say, “You’re too timorous, you need to take more risks.”
  • In a challenging situation, someone might comment, “His timorous nature prevents him from stepping out of his comfort zone.”
  • A parent might encourage their child by saying, “Don’t be timorous, believe in yourself and face your fears.”

11. Fraidy-cat

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It is often used in a playful or teasing manner.

  • For example, “Don’t be such a fraidy-cat, it’s just a spider.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “You don’t need to be a fraidy-cat, try something new.”
  • In a group of friends, someone might jokingly say, “I can’t believe you’re scared of roller coasters, you’re such a fraidy-cat.”

12. Lacking backbone

This phrase is used to describe someone who lacks courage or is easily intimidated. It implies that the person is weak-willed or easily swayed by others.

  • For instance, “He’s always backing down from confrontations, he’s so lacking backbone.”
  • In a discussion about leadership, someone might say, “A good leader should never be lacking backbone.”
  • A person might describe themselves as lacking backbone in a situation where they didn’t stand up for themselves, saying, “I wish I hadn’t been so spineless.”

13. Softie

This term is used to describe someone who is gentle, sensitive, or easily moved to emotion. It can also refer to someone who is easily intimidated or lacks assertiveness.

  • For example, “He may seem tough, but deep down, he’s a softie.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t like scary movies, I’m a bit of a softie.”
  • In a teasing manner, a friend might say, “Aw, don’t be such a softie, it’s just a little spider.”

14. Pusillanimous

This word is used to describe someone who lacks courage or is timid. It implies a lack of bravery or determination.

  • For instance, “His pusillanimous behavior prevented him from taking risks.”
  • In a discussion about bravery, someone might say, “A true hero is never pusillanimous.”
  • A person might use this word to describe themselves when reflecting on a missed opportunity, saying, “I was pusillanimous and didn’t speak up when I should have.”

15. Yellow

This term is used to describe someone who lacks courage or is easily frightened. It is often used in a derogatory or mocking manner.

  • For example, “He ran away when things got tough, what a yellow.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t want to be seen as yellow, so I’ll face my fears.”
  • In a teasing manner, friends might say, “Don’t be yellow, it’s just a harmless spider.”

16. Chicken-hearted

This term describes someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It is often used to mock or criticize someone who is timid or afraid.

  • For example, “Don’t be so chicken-hearted, just jump off the diving board!”
  • In a discussion about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be chicken-hearted, but now I’ve learned to confront my fears.”
  • A character in a book might be described as “a chicken-hearted protagonist who must find their courage.”
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17. Spineless

This term refers to someone who is weak-willed or lacks courage. It implies that the person is easily swayed or controlled by others.

  • For instance, “He’s so spineless, he always caves in to peer pressure.”
  • In a conversation about standing up for oneself, someone might say, “Don’t be spineless, speak up for what you believe in.”
  • A character in a movie might be described as “a spineless villain who is easily manipulated by the protagonist.”

18. Timid as a mouse

This phrase describes someone who is very timid or easily frightened, comparing their level of fear to that of a small mouse.

  • For example, “She’s as timid as a mouse, she never speaks up in meetings.”
  • In a discussion about overcoming shyness, someone might say, “I used to be as timid as a mouse, but now I’ve learned to assert myself.”
  • A character in a play might be described as “a timid as a mouse sidekick who gains confidence throughout the story.”

19. Yellow-bellied sap-sucker

This humorous term is used to mock or insult someone who is cowardly or lacks courage. It combines the imagery of a yellow belly (a sign of fear) with the nonsensical term “sap-sucker.”

  • For instance, “Don’t be such a yellow-bellied sap-sucker, stand up for yourself!”
  • In a conversation about bravery, someone might say, “I can’t believe he’s such a yellow-bellied sap-sucker, he never takes risks.”
  • A character in a cartoon might be described as “a bumbling yellow-bellied sap-sucker who always gets into trouble.”

20. Scared stiff

This phrase describes someone who is extremely frightened or paralyzed with fear. It suggests that the person is so terrified that they are unable to move or react.

  • For example, “I was scared stiff when I saw the spider crawling towards me.”
  • In a discussion about phobias, someone might say, “She’s scared stiff of heights, she can’t even climb a ladder.”
  • A character in a horror movie might be described as “a scared stiff victim who is constantly on the run from the killer.”

21. Shy

Shy describes someone who is hesitant or reluctant to engage with others or express themselves. It often implies a lack of confidence or comfort in social situations.

  • For example, a person might say, “I’m too shy to speak in front of a large crowd.”
  • In a group setting, someone might comment, “She’s always so shy and quiet.”
  • A friend might reassure, “Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel shy in new situations.”

22. Faint-hearted

Faint-hearted describes someone who lacks courage or bravery. It suggests a tendency to avoid challenging or risky situations.

  • For instance, someone might say, “He’s too faint-hearted to confront his fears.”
  • In a discussion about taking risks, one might comment, “Only the faint-hearted would shy away from new opportunities.”
  • A person might self-reflect, “I need to overcome my faint-heartedness and take more chances.”

23. Soft

Soft is a slang term used to describe someone who is easily intimidated or lacks assertiveness. It suggests a tendency to avoid conflict or confrontation.

  • For example, a person might say, “He’s too soft to stand up for himself.”
  • In a discussion about negotiation, one might comment, “Being soft will only lead to being taken advantage of.”
  • A friend might advise, “You need to be less soft and more assertive in asserting your needs.”

24. Timid like a lamb

Timid like a lamb describes someone who is extremely timid or shy, comparing them to the gentle and meek nature of a lamb. It emphasizes a lack of confidence and a tendency to avoid attention or confrontation.

  • For instance, someone might say, “She’s as timid as a lamb, always hiding in the background.”
  • In a discussion about public speaking, one might comment, “I feel as timid as a lamb whenever I have to give a presentation.”
  • A friend might empathize, “I understand how it feels to be timid like a lamb, but you have so much to offer.”

25. Timid as a bunny

Timid as a bunny describes someone who is very timid or easily frightened, comparing them to the skittish nature of a bunny. It suggests a lack of confidence and a tendency to be easily startled or overwhelmed.

  • For example, a person might say, “He’s as timid as a bunny, always jumping at the slightest noise.”
  • In a discussion about trying new experiences, one might comment, “Being timid as a bunny will only hold you back from truly living.”
  • A friend might encourage, “You don’t have to be as timid as a bunny. Take small steps and you’ll build your confidence.”

26. Cautious

This term describes someone who is careful and hesitant to take risks. It implies a sense of being mindful and thinking before acting.

  • For example, a person might say, “I’m cautious about making big financial decisions.”
  • In a discussion about safety, someone might advise, “Always be cautious when walking alone at night.”
  • A friend might describe another as, “She’s very cautious when it comes to trying new things.”

27. Gentle

This word refers to someone who is mild-mannered and has a calm and kind demeanor. It suggests a lack of aggressiveness or assertiveness.

  • For instance, a teacher might be described as “gentle” in their approach to handling students.
  • In a conversation about communication styles, someone might say, “He has a gentle way of expressing his opinions.”
  • A friend might comment, “She has a gentle spirit and is always considerate of others.”

28. Dainty

This term describes someone who is delicate or fragile in appearance or behavior. It suggests a sense of being small or delicate.

  • For example, someone might say, “She has a dainty way of holding her teacup.”
  • In a discussion about fashion, a person might describe a dress as “dainty” due to its delicate lace detailing.
  • A friend might comment, “He has a dainty touch when playing the piano.”

29. Shaky

This word refers to someone who is unsteady or trembling, often due to anxiety or fear. It suggests a lack of confidence or stability.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I felt shaky before giving a presentation.”
  • In a conversation about performance anxiety, someone might say, “I always get shaky before a big audition.”
  • A friend might comment, “His voice was shaky as he delivered the speech.”

30. Hesitant

This term describes someone who is indecisive or unsure. It implies a lack of confidence or conviction in making a decision or taking action.

  • For example, someone might say, “She was hesitant to try the new food.”
  • In a discussion about career choices, a person might describe themselves as “hesitant” in making a decision.
  • A friend might comment, “He seemed hesitant to speak up during the meeting.”

31. Timid like a deer

This phrase is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks confidence in certain situations.

  • For example, “She was timid like a deer when she had to speak in front of a large crowd.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s personality, one might say, “He’s always been timid like a deer, even as a child.”
  • A friend might reassure someone by saying, “Don’t be timid like a deer, you’ve got this!”

32. Skittish

This term is used to describe someone who is jumpy or easily startled. It can also refer to someone who lacks confidence or is hesitant in certain situations.

  • For instance, “The dog is skittish around strangers.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s behavior, one might say, “He’s always been skittish around loud noises.”
  • A person might describe themselves as skittish and say, “I don’t like surprises, they make me feel skittish.”

33. Trembling

This word is used to describe the physical manifestation of fear or nervousness, often characterized by shaking or quivering.

  • For example, “Her hands were trembling with fear.”
  • In a discussion about stage fright, one might say, “I always get trembling knees before a performance.”
  • A person might describe themselves as trembling and say, “I couldn’t control my trembling when I had to give a presentation.”

34. Frightened

This word is used to describe the state of feeling fear or being scared. It can be used to describe someone who lacks confidence or is easily intimidated.

  • For instance, “The child was frightened by the loud thunder.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s reaction to a horror movie, one might say, “She was so frightened, she couldn’t sleep.”
  • A person might express their own fear and say, “I’m frightened of spiders, they give me the creeps.”

35. Timid like a kitten

This phrase is used to describe someone who is timid or lacks confidence, often in a cute or endearing way.

  • For example, “She’s always been timid like a kitten around new people.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s behavior, one might say, “He’s timid like a kitten when it comes to trying new things.”
  • A friend might encourage someone by saying, “Don’t be timid like a kitten, you’re stronger than you think!”

36. Mousy

This term is often used to describe someone who is meek, quiet, or lacking in confidence. It can also refer to physical characteristics that resemble a mouse, such as small, timid behavior or a soft-spoken voice.

  • For example, “She’s always been a bit mousy, preferring to stay in the background.”
  • In a group setting, someone might say, “Don’t be so mousy, speak up and share your ideas.”
  • A person might describe themselves as mousy, saying, “I’ve always been a bit mousy, but I’m working on gaining more confidence.”

37. Bashful

This term describes someone who is hesitant, self-conscious, or easily embarrassed. It often refers to people who are reserved or uncomfortable in social situations, preferring to avoid attention or draw too much focus on themselves.

  • For instance, “He’s always been a bit bashful, never one to seek the spotlight.”
  • In a situation where someone is being praised, they might say, “Oh, stop it, you’re making me bashful.”
  • A person might describe themselves as bashful, saying, “I’m naturally bashful, but I’m working on coming out of my shell.”

38. Timid as a fawn

This phrase compares someone’s timidity to that of a young deer, known as a fawn. It suggests that the person is extremely cautious, easily startled, and lacks confidence in unfamiliar or challenging situations.

  • For example, “She’s as timid as a fawn, always hesitating before making a move.”
  • In a discussion about a shy friend, someone might say, “He’s timid as a fawn, always avoiding big crowds.”
  • A person might describe themselves as timid as a fawn, saying, “I’ve always been timid as a fawn, but I’m trying to overcome my fears.”

39. Introverted

This term describes someone who gains energy from being alone and often prefers solitary activities to socializing. Introverted individuals tend to be more reserved, thoughtful, and introspective, and may feel drained by too much social interaction.

  • For instance, “She’s always been introverted, needing time alone to recharge.”
  • In a conversation about personality types, someone might say, “I’m definitely more introverted, preferring quiet nights at home.”
  • A person might describe themselves as introverted, saying, “I’ve always been introverted, but I’ve learned to embrace and appreciate my own company.”

40. Timid as a dove

This phrase compares someone’s timidity to that of a dove, a symbol of peace and gentleness. It suggests that the person is extremely cautious, meek, and avoids conflict or confrontation at all costs.

  • For example, “He’s as timid as a dove, always backing away from any kind of disagreement.”
  • In a discussion about a shy friend, someone might say, “She’s timid as a dove, never one to speak up or assert herself.”
  • A person might describe themselves as timid as a dove, saying, “I’ve always been timid as a dove, but I’m learning to stand up for myself more.”

41. Meek

This term describes someone who is timid and submissive, often avoiding confrontation or assertiveness.

  • For example, “He’s too meek to stand up for himself in a debate.”
  • In a group project, a coworker might say, “She’s too meek to take charge and make decisions.”
  • A friend might comment, “He’s always been a bit meek, even since childhood.”

42. Cowering

This word describes someone who is visibly afraid or submissive, often crouching or shrinking away from a perceived threat.

  • For instance, “The dog cowered in the corner after being scolded.”
  • In a scary movie, a character might cower in fear when confronted by a monster.
  • A witness might describe, “He was cowering behind the counter during the robbery.”

43. Jittery

This slang term refers to someone who is easily startled or prone to nervousness.

  • For example, “She’s always jittery before a big presentation.”
  • A person might say, “I get jittery around large crowds.”
  • A friend might comment, “He’s too jittery to handle the pressure of a high-stakes game.”

44. Frightened rabbit

This phrase describes someone who is so timid and easily scared that they resemble a frightened rabbit.

  • For instance, “She’s like a frightened rabbit whenever there’s a loud noise.”
  • In a haunted house, a person might joke, “I was a frightened rabbit the entire time.”
  • A friend might comment, “He’s a frightened rabbit when it comes to trying new things.”

45. Dovish

This term is often used to describe someone who is cautious or hesitant to engage in conflict or aggression.

  • For example, “The politician has a dovish approach to international relations.”
  • In a debate, a person might argue, “We need a dovish approach to resolve this conflict.”
  • A friend might comment, “She’s always been more dovish in her approach to solving problems.”

46. Lacking nerve

This phrase is used to describe someone who lacks courage or bravery. It implies that the person is easily scared or intimidated.

  • For example, “He’s always avoiding confrontation and backing down from challenges. He’s really lacking nerve.”
  • In a discussion about facing fears, someone might say, “It takes a lot of courage to overcome your lacking nerve.”
  • A friend might jokingly tease, “Don’t be such a lacking nerve, stand up for yourself!”

47. Shy guy

This term refers to someone who is socially reserved or hesitant to engage with others. It suggests that the person is more comfortable in quieter or solitary settings.

  • For instance, “He’s not one to speak up in a group. He’s always been a shy guy.”
  • In a discussion about party preferences, someone might say, “I’m more of a shy guy. I prefer smaller gatherings.”
  • A friend might encourage, “Don’t worry about being a shy guy. Just be yourself and people will appreciate you.”