to give someone the willies

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - give someone the willies

"to give someone the willies"

to make someone feel frightened, nervous or uncomfortable


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - give someone the willies

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Please run this down to the accounting department for me.

Colleague 2:  Must I?

Colleague 1:  Why? What's the problem?

Colleague 2:  Ed in accounting gives me the willies. He always stares at me like he wants to eat me. I find him unnerving and a little frightening.

Colleague 1:  That must be terribly uncomfortable. I will find someone else to take the report to accounting.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - give someone the willies

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Don't you just love my Golden Tarantula award?

Friend 2:  No. It gives me the willies. Can't you put it somewhere else?

Friend 1:  I am proud of this award. I like it. Why does it frighten you so much?

Friend 2:  Most people are afraid of large hairy spiders.

to give someone the willies - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   98   click for frequency by country

to give someone the willies - Gerund Form:

Giving them the willies, the nest of spiders started to pulse.

to give someone the willies - Examples:

1)  ... people out there who like to target kids and teens, it gives me the willies just thinking there are people like that out there.

2)  I love my pythons but anything venomous gives me the willies.

3)  Please feel free to skip them if seeing a weird alien belly gives you the willies.

4)  ... muffled sound of the characters' voices in their spacesuits, always gives me the willies when I watch it, especially alone late at night.

5)  ... suddenly you will find you are sitting on it. It always gives me the willies, that moment when you see some spar or piece of rusting metalwork looming up.

6)  I had three passengers on board at the time. It still gives me the willies thinking what might have happened.

7)  ... but nothing much more than that Snake and lizard skin gives me the willies and I just don't like the look of Ostrich.

8)  What is it about seeing spiders close-up that gives us the willies? Especially big, hairy spiders... like that Wolf Spider on your thigh.

9)  ... creepiest part of the entire series so far. He just gives me the willies.

10)  ... and the thought of coping with one more user's manual now gives me the willies.

11)  ... offered me some topical steroids, but the word "steroids" gives me the willies, and the relief was temporary.

12)  ... animatronic robot in the foyer, whose eerie verisimilitude to real life gives people the willies.

13)  I really need to know the scent of chlilies gives me the willies and then to the bathroom, I must go.

14)  ... this just sort of gives me the willies. What do they mean a "launcher fault destroyed the mission"?

15)  The cannibalism was just a story of goblins, meant to give you the willies.

16)  Same-gender sex does give Paul the willies, but he uses it as the evidence of a different underlying problem which is ...

17)  Shoulder to shoulder, we whizz around hairpins at speeds that would give me the willies even if I had a whole autoroute to myself.

18)  So what's to fear? Policemen love to give you the willies that they are looking at you.

19)  The thought of sending money to strangers may give you the willies, so it's vital to choose a layaway operator that isn't going to ...

20)  ... but stopped after awhile because I didn't want to give them the willies.