Top 45 Slang For Timidity – Meaning & Usage

Are you feeling a bit timid when it comes to using the right slang? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Our team has put together a list of the top slang terms for timidity that will have you feeling confident in no time. Say goodbye to hesitation and hello to embracing your inner slang master with our curated selection of words that perfectly capture that shy vibe. Let’s dive in and upgrade your vocabulary game!

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1. Chicken-hearted

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It implies a lack of bravery and willingness to face difficult or dangerous situations.

  • For example, “Don’t be chicken-hearted, stand up for yourself!”
  • In a discussion about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be chicken-hearted, but now I confront my fears head-on.”
  • A person might describe someone else as chicken-hearted, saying, “He’s too chicken-hearted to try anything new.”

2. Yellow-bellied

This slang term is used to describe someone who is easily scared or lacks courage. It refers to the idea that a cowardly person’s belly turns yellow, indicating fear.

  • For instance, “Don’t be yellow-bellied, stand up for what you believe in!”
  • In a conversation about facing challenges, someone might say, “I used to be yellow-bellied, but now I take risks and embrace new opportunities.”
  • A person might describe someone else as yellow-bellied, saying, “He’s too yellow-bellied to confront his fears.”

3. Scaredy-cat

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks courage. It is often used playfully or in a teasing manner to mock someone’s timidity.

  • For example, “Don’t be such a scaredy-cat, it’s just a harmless spider!”
  • In a discussion about bravery, someone might say, “I used to be a scaredy-cat, but now I face my fears head-on.”
  • A person might jokingly call someone else a scaredy-cat, saying, “You’re such a scaredy-cat, you jump at every little noise!”

4. Wimp

This slang term is used to describe someone who is physically or emotionally weak, lacking strength or courage. It implies a lack of toughness or resilience.

  • For instance, “Don’t be a wimp, stand up for yourself!”
  • In a conversation about facing challenges, someone might say, “I used to be a wimp, but now I tackle difficult tasks with confidence.”
  • A person might describe someone else as a wimp, saying, “He’s too much of a wimp to take on any physical challenges.”

5. Milquetoast

This term is used to describe someone who is meek, timid, or easily intimidated. It is often used to refer to someone who lacks assertiveness or stands up for themselves.

  • For example, “He’s such a milquetoast, he never speaks up in meetings.”
  • In a discussion about confidence, someone might say, “I used to be a milquetoast, but now I assert myself and voice my opinions.”
  • A person might describe someone else as a milquetoast, saying, “She’s too much of a milquetoast to confront anyone.”

6. Jellyfish

This term is used to describe someone who is timid or lacking in courage. It refers to the soft, gelatinous nature of a jellyfish, which is often seen as weak or spineless.

  • For example, a person might say, “Don’t be such a jellyfish, stand up for yourself!”
  • In a discussion about assertiveness, someone might comment, “I used to be a jellyfish, but I’ve learned to speak up for what I want.”
  • Another might describe a shy friend as, “She’s a bit of a jellyfish, always avoiding confrontation.”

7. Spineless

This term is used to describe someone who is weak-willed or easily intimidated. It suggests a lack of backbone or strength of character.

  • For instance, a person might say, “He’s spineless, he never stands up for what he believes in.”
  • In a conversation about leadership, someone might comment, “A good leader can’t be spineless, they need to make tough decisions.”
  • Another might describe a person who always gives in to peer pressure as, “She’s completely spineless, she can’t say no.”

8. Pusillanimous

This term is a more formal way to describe someone who is lacking in courage or bravery. It suggests a fearfulness or timidity in the face of danger or challenge.

  • For example, a person might say, “His pusillanimous behavior prevented him from taking risks.”
  • In a discussion about bravery, someone might comment, “A pusillanimous person would never volunteer for a dangerous mission.”
  • Another might describe a person who always avoids confrontation as, “She’s too pusillanimous to stand up for herself.”

9. Timid as a mouse

This phrase is used to describe someone who is very timid or easily frightened. It compares their level of timidity to that of a small, quiet mouse.

  • For instance, a person might say, “She’s as timid as a mouse, she never speaks up in meetings.”
  • In a conversation about introversion, someone might comment, “I used to be as timid as a mouse, but I’ve learned to assert myself.”
  • Another might describe a friend who is afraid of trying new things as, “He’s timid as a mouse, he never steps out of his comfort zone.”

10. Faint-hearted

This term is used to describe someone who is easily discouraged or lacking in bravery. It suggests a lack of heart or spirit.

  • For example, a person might say, “Don’t be faint-hearted, take a risk and go for it.”
  • In a discussion about perseverance, someone might comment, “A faint-hearted person would give up at the first sign of difficulty.”
  • Another might describe a person who is always hesitant to take on challenges as, “She’s too faint-hearted to pursue her dreams.”

11. Gutless

This term refers to someone who lacks courage or bravery. It is often used to describe someone who is afraid to take risks or stand up for themselves.

  • For example, “He backed out of the challenge at the last minute. What a gutless move.”
  • In a discussion about a person’s actions, someone might say, “They showed their true gutless nature by not speaking up.”
  • A sports commentator might criticize a player by saying, “Their gutless performance cost the team the game.”

12. Yellow

This slang term is used to describe someone who is afraid or timid. It is often associated with the color yellow, which is commonly associated with fear.

  • For instance, “He refused to confront the bully and was labeled as yellow.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s behavior, one might say, “They showed their true colors when they ran away. Total yellow.”
  • A person might warn another by saying, “Don’t be yellow. Stand up for yourself.”

13. Lily-livered

This term is used to describe someone who is extremely timid or lacking in courage. It is an exaggerated way to emphasize someone’s fearfulness.

  • For example, “He couldn’t even step foot in the haunted house. What a lily-livered individual.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s reaction to a dangerous situation, one might say, “Their lily-livered response showed their true character.”
  • A person might mockingly say, “You’re too lily-livered to try anything new.”

14. Chicken

This slang term refers to someone who is easily scared or afraid. It is often used to describe someone who avoids confrontation or difficult situations.

  • For instance, “He ran away when things got tough. Such a chicken.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s behavior, one might say, “They’re always acting like a chicken, avoiding any kind of challenge.”
  • A person might tease another by saying, “Don’t be a chicken. Face your fears.”

15. Softie

This term is used to describe someone who is easily frightened or lacks assertiveness. It is often used in a lighthearted or affectionate way.

  • For example, “He jumped at the sound of a loud noise. What a softie.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s sensitivity, one might say, “They may seem tough, but deep down they’re a softie.”
  • A person might playfully tease another by saying, “You’re such a softie. Scared of your own shadow.”

16. Cower

When faced with a scary situation, some people tend to cower in fear.

  • For example, “He cowered in the corner, afraid of the approaching storm.”
  • In a story about a haunted house, a character might cower under the covers, afraid of what lurks in the darkness.
  • A person might cower before a boss who is known for their intimidating presence.
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17. Shy as a rabbit

This phrase compares someone’s timidity to that of a rabbit, known for being easily startled and shy.

  • For instance, “She’s as shy as a rabbit, always hiding in the background.”
  • When describing someone who is hesitant to speak up in a group, one might say, “He’s as shy as a rabbit.”
  • A person might use this phrase to explain their own reserved nature, saying, “I’ve always been shy as a rabbit.”

18. Cowering

When faced with a threatening situation, someone might be seen cowering, trying to make themselves appear smaller and less noticeable.

  • For example, “The dog cowered in the corner, scared of the loud noises.”
  • In a description of a character’s reaction to a scary movie, one might write, “She watched with wide eyes, cowering under the blanket.”
  • A person might cower in fear when confronted by a bully.

19. Trembling

Trembling is a physical manifestation of timidity, often caused by fear or nervousness.

  • For instance, “Her hands were trembling as she approached the stage to give her speech.”
  • When describing a character’s reaction to a dangerous situation, one might say, “He stood there, trembling with fear.”
  • A person might notice their own trembling when faced with a phobia, saying, “I couldn’t help but tremble at the sight of spiders.”

20. Quaking

Quaking is a more intense form of trembling, often associated with extreme fear or anxiety.

  • For example, “The entire building was quaking as the earthquake struck.”
  • When describing a character’s reaction to a terrifying event, one might write, “She stood there, quaking with fear.”
  • A person might use this term to describe their own physical reaction to a traumatic experience, saying, “I was quaking in my boots.”

21. Lacking backbone

This phrase is used to describe someone who lacks the courage or strength to stand up for themselves or take action.

  • For example, “He’s always backing down from confrontations. He’s really lacking backbone.”
  • In a discussion about leadership, someone might say, “A leader should never be lacking backbone.”
  • A friend might joke, “You need to stop being so timid and start showing some backbone!”

22. Soft

When used as slang, “soft” refers to someone who is easily intimidated or lacks determination.

  • For instance, “He’s too soft to handle any kind of criticism.”
  • In a conversation about sports, someone might say, “He might be talented, but he’s too soft to be a real competitor.”
  • A friend might tease, “Don’t be so soft, stand up for yourself!”

23. Skittish

This term is used to describe someone who is easily startled or nervous in certain situations.

  • For example, “The skittish horse jumped at every little noise.”
  • In a discussion about phobias, someone might say, “I’m extremely skittish around spiders.”
  • A friend might comment, “You’re so skittish, even a loud noise makes you jump!”

24. Hesitant

When someone is hesitant, they are unsure or lacking confidence in making a decision or taking action.

  • For instance, “She was hesitant to speak up in the meeting, afraid of sounding foolish.”
  • In a conversation about trying new things, someone might say, “Don’t be hesitant, just give it a try!”
  • A friend might ask, “Why are you always so hesitant to take risks?”

25. Bashful

This term is used to describe someone who is shy or timid, often in social situations.

  • For example, “The bashful child hid behind their parent at the party.”
  • In a discussion about public speaking, someone might say, “Even the most confident individuals can feel bashful on stage.”
  • A friend might tease, “Stop being so bashful and join the conversation!”

26. Pansy

Pansy is a derogatory term used to describe someone who is seen as weak or lacking courage. It is often used to insult or belittle someone for their timidity.

  • For instance, a bully might taunt, “Don’t be such a pansy, stand up for yourself!”
  • In a conversation about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be a pansy, but now I’m more confident.”
  • A person criticizing someone’s lack of bravery might say, “They’re too much of a pansy to take any risks.”

27. Meek

Meek describes someone who is quiet, gentle, and easily intimidated. It refers to a person who lacks assertiveness or confidence.

  • For example, a teacher might describe a shy student as “meek and mild.”
  • In a discussion about leadership qualities, someone might say, “He’s too meek to be an effective leader.”
  • A person reflecting on their own personality might say, “I used to be more meek, but I’ve learned to be more assertive.”

28. Timid as a lamb

This phrase is used to emphasize someone’s extreme timidity or fearfulness. It compares the person to a lamb, which is known for being gentle and easily frightened.

  • For instance, a parent might describe their child as “timid as a lamb” when they are hesitant to try new things.
  • In a conversation about someone’s lack of confidence, a friend might say, “They’re as timid as a lamb.”
  • A person describing their own anxiety might say, “In social situations, I can be as timid as a lamb.”

29. Frightened rabbit

This phrase is used to describe someone who is easily frightened and reacts with fear or panic. It compares the person to a rabbit, which is known for its skittish behavior.

  • For example, a person might say, “She’s like a frightened rabbit whenever there’s a loud noise.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s nervousness, a friend might say, “They’re always on edge, like a frightened rabbit.”
  • A person describing their own fearfulness might say, “I feel like a frightened rabbit in crowded places.”

30. Chicken-livered

Chicken-livered is a term used to describe someone who is easily scared or lacks bravery. It implies that the person is weak-willed or lacking in courage.

  • For instance, a person might say, “Don’t be so chicken-livered, stand up for yourself!”
  • In a conversation about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be chicken-livered, but now I’m more confident.”
  • A person criticizing someone’s lack of bravery might say, “They’re too chicken-livered to take any risks.”

31. Lacking nerve

This phrase is used to describe someone who is hesitant or afraid to take risks or confront difficult situations.

  • For example, “He wanted to ask her out, but he was lacking nerve.”
  • In a discussion about public speaking, someone might say, “I always feel lacking nerve before giving a presentation.”
  • A friend might encourage someone by saying, “Don’t be lacking nerve! You can do it!”

32. Shy as a fawn

This phrase compares someone’s shyness to that of a young deer. It suggests that the person is easily startled or hesitant in social situations.

  • For instance, “She’s shy as a fawn and prefers to keep to herself.”
  • In a conversation about parties, someone might say, “I don’t enjoy large gatherings. I’m as shy as a fawn.”
  • A friend might describe another friend by saying, “He’s as shy as a fawn when meeting new people.”

33. Timid as a kitten

This phrase likens someone’s timidity to that of a young cat. It implies that the person is cautious and easily intimidated.

  • For example, “She’s timid as a kitten and gets nervous in new situations.”
  • In a discussion about job interviews, someone might say, “I tend to be timid as a kitten during interviews.”
  • A parent might describe their child by saying, “He’s timid as a kitten around strangers.”

34. Shivering

This term refers to the physical manifestation of fear or timidity. It describes the involuntary shaking or trembling that can occur when someone is scared or anxious.

  • For instance, “She was shivering with fear when she heard a loud noise.”
  • In a conversation about horror movies, someone might say, “That scene was so scary, it had me shivering.”
  • A friend might ask, “Why are you shivering? Are you nervous about something?”

35. Dithering

This term describes someone who is unable to make a decision or is hesitant in taking action. It implies a lack of confidence or certainty.

  • For example, “He’s been dithering about which college to attend.”
  • In a discussion about travel plans, someone might say, “I’ve been dithering between two destinations.”
  • A friend might say, “Stop dithering and just choose already!”

36. Wimpy

This term is often used to describe someone who is easily intimidated or afraid to take risks.

  • For example, “He’s too wimpy to stand up for himself.”
  • In a discussion about sports, someone might say, “They need to toughen up their defense, they’re playing wimpy.”
  • A person might self-deprecatingly say, “I’m too wimpy to try bungee jumping.”

37. Nervous wreck

This term is used to describe someone who is in a state of extreme nervousness or anxiety.

  • For instance, “She’s a nervous wreck before public speaking.”
  • In a conversation about a stressful situation, someone might say, “I was a nervous wreck waiting for the test results.”
  • A person might describe themselves as a nervous wreck when preparing for a job interview.
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38. Jittery

This term is used to describe someone who is feeling restless or uneasy, often due to nerves or anxiety.

  • For example, “He’s always jittery before a big presentation.”
  • In a discussion about caffeine, someone might say, “I had too much coffee and now I’m feeling jittery.”
  • A person might mention feeling jittery before a first date.

39. Frightened mouse

This term is used to describe someone who is extremely timid or easily frightened, like a mouse.

  • For instance, “She’s a frightened mouse when it comes to horror movies.”
  • In a conversation about a haunted house, someone might say, “I felt like a frightened mouse the whole time.”
  • A person might describe themselves as a frightened mouse when faced with a spider.

40. Timid as a dove

This term is used to describe someone who is very shy or cautious, often avoiding confrontation or risky situations.

  • For example, “She’s as timid as a dove when it comes to public speaking.”
  • In a discussion about a party, someone might say, “He was too timid as a dove to talk to anyone.”
  • A person might describe themselves as timid as a dove when it comes to trying new things.

41. Harebrained

This term refers to someone who is perceived as being foolish or having crazy ideas. It is often used to describe someone who acts without thinking or lacks common sense.

  • For example, “Don’t listen to him, he’s harebrained and will only get you into trouble.”
  • In a discussion about risky business ventures, someone might say, “That harebrained idea is just asking for failure.”
  • A person describing a friend’s impulsive behavior might say, “He’s always coming up with harebrained schemes.”

42. Sissy

This term is used to describe someone, usually a male, who is considered weak or cowardly. It often implies that the person is not living up to societal expectations of masculinity.

  • For instance, “Don’t be such a sissy, stand up for yourself.”
  • In a conversation about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be a sissy, but now I’m not afraid to take risks.”
  • A person teasing a friend for being scared might say, “Are you too much of a sissy to go on the roller coaster?”

43. Shy as a deer

This phrase compares someone’s timidity to that of a deer, which is known for being easily startled and quick to flee. It suggests that the person is very shy or lacks confidence.

  • For example, “She’s as shy as a deer and always avoids social events.”
  • In a discussion about introverted personalities, someone might say, “I used to be shy as a deer, but I’ve learned to come out of my shell.”
  • A person describing a friend’s reaction to a scary movie might say, “He jumped and screamed like a shy deer.”

44. Timid as a rabbit

This phrase compares someone’s timidity to that of a rabbit, which is known for being skittish and quick to run away. It implies that the person is easily scared or hesitant to take risks.

  • For instance, “He’s as timid as a rabbit and never wants to try anything new.”
  • In a conversation about facing fears, someone might say, “I used to be timid as a rabbit, but now I take risks and embrace new experiences.”
  • A person teasing a friend for being scared might say, “Don’t be timid as a rabbit, it’s just a harmless spider.”

45. Yellow-bellied sap-sucker

This term is a colorful and humorous way to describe someone who is perceived as being cowardly or lacking courage. It combines the imagery of a yellow-bellied bird (such as a woodpecker) with the derogatory term “sap-sucker.”

  • For example, “Don’t be a yellow-bellied sap-sucker, stand up for yourself.”
  • In a discussion about facing challenges, someone might say, “I used to be a yellow-bellied sap-sucker, but now I confront my fears head-on.”
  • A person teasing a friend for backing out of a dare might say, “Looks like we’ve got a yellow-bellied sap-sucker here.”