quake in one's boots

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quake in one's boots

  1. (informal, idiomatic) To be very frightened, scared, or nervous.
    The thought of climbing that high had him quaking in his boots.

Usage notes[edit]

Often used sarcastically to mean that something is not at all frightening, e.g. The little dog thought it had me quaking in my boots with all the barking it was doing.