- heebee-geebees, heebee geebees, heebeegeebees, heebee-jeebees, heebee jeebees, heebeejeebees, heebie jeebies, heebiejeebies, heeby-jeebies, heeby jeebies, heebyjeebies, heeby-jeebys, heeby jeebys
The earliest found occurrences of spelling variants (it is not established whether the first one coined the term or committed to print an earlier oral expression):
- In 1923, the spelling "heeby jeebys" was used by U.S. cartoonist Billy De Beck in his comic strip Barney Google (New York American, 26 October 1923).
- In 1925, the spelling "heebee-jeebees" was used in U.S. magazine Ladies' Home Journal (Vol. 42, Part 2, p. 44).
- In 1926, the spelling "heebie jeebies" was used by U.S. singer Louis Armstrong for his single "Heebie Jeebies" (written by Boyd Atkins).
- In 1928, the spelling "heebee-geebees" was used in U.S. article "We All Have the Heebee-Geebees" by G. M. Keller of Swift & Company (Modern School Store, Vol. 11, p. 269 via Google Books).
- In 1956, the spelling "heeby jeebies" was used by U.S. singer Little Richard on the cover of his homonymous SP record (and the hyphenated spelling "heeby-jeebies" on its vinyl disc itself).
heebie-jeebies pl (plural only)
- (informal) A general feeling of anxiety, fear, uneasiness, or nausea.
- I don't mind worms, but spiders give me the heebie-jeebies.
- When I see that weird house, I get the heebie-jeebies.
Most commonly used with the verbs "give" and "get" (as in the expressions "get the heebie-jeebies" and "give someone the heebie-jeebies").