30 Metaphors for Scared + Quiz


Ever found yourself tongue-tied trying to describe how scared you were? Or maybe you’re just fascinated by how colorful language can get when talking about fear. You’re not alone! In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of metaphors for being scared.

You know, those phrases that paint a vivid picture of our fright in just a few words. Get ready to explore some classic and intriguing metaphors that do just that!

metaphors for scared

What is a Metaphor for Scared?

Before we jump into our list, let’s talk a bit about what metaphors are. Simply put, a metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true but helps explain an idea or make a comparison.

When it comes to being scared, metaphors are a brilliant way to convey the intensity, physical reactions, and emotions of fear.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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What is an abbreviation?

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What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

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What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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Now, let’s explore some popular metaphors for being scared, shall we?

Here’s a table summarizing all the metaphors for fear with their meanings and example sentences:

MetaphorMeaningExample Sentence
Shaking like a leafTrembling uncontrollably due to fearWhen I heard the noise, I was shaking like a leaf.
Jumping out of one’s skinExtremely startled or frightenedThe thunder made me jump out of my skin.
Heart in one’s throatFeeling very nervous or frightenedWalking down the dark alley, I felt my heart in my throat.
Frozen with fearSo scared that one is unable to moveI was frozen with fear when I saw the shadow move.
Hair standing on endExtreme fear causing a physical reactionThe eerie whisper made my hair stand on end.
Eyes as wide as saucersEyes opened wide in shock or fearThe audience’s eyes were as wide as saucers at the magic trick.
Quaking in one’s bootsTrembling with fearFacing the roller coaster, I was quaking in my boots.
Like a deer caught in headlightsParalyzed by fear or confusionI was like a deer caught in headlights during the quiz.
Butterflies in the stomachNervousness or fear causing a fluttery feelingI had butterflies in my stomach before the speech.
White as a ghostExtremely pale due to fearShe was white as a ghost after the horror movie.
Sweating bulletsSweating profusely due to fear or nervousnessWaiting for the results, I was sweating bullets.
Heart pounding like a drumHeart beating hard and fast due to fearHiding from the burglar, my heart pounded like a drum.
Trembling like a leafTrembling due to extreme fear or anxietyI was trembling like a leaf during the storm.
Petrified like stoneSo scared that one feels unable to moveI was petrified like stone when I saw the snake.
Cowering like a mouseShrinking away or trying to hide due to fearThe loud explosion had us cowering like mice.
Running scaredFrightened with an urge to run awayHearing footsteps behind me, I was running scared.
Scared out of one’s witsExtremely frightenedThe haunted house left us scared out of our wits.
Scared stiffSo frightened that one can’t moveThe scream in the night left me scared stiff.
Panic-strickenOverwhelmed with sudden fear or panicLost in the forest, I was panic-stricken.
Terrified to the boneExtremely scared, to the coreBeing alone in the house terrified me to the bone.
Like a rabbit in headlightsFrozen in fear, not knowing how to reactShe was like a rabbit in headlights when asked a tough question.
Nervous as a cat on a hot tin roofExtremely jittery or anxiousI was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof before the interview.
Like a fish out of waterFeeling out of place or uncomfortableI felt like a fish out of water in the new school.
Shivers down one’s spineFear causing a shivering sensationThe ghost story sent shivers down my spine.
Like a haunted houseSuggesting an eerie, frightening atmosphereThe building was silent like a haunted house.
Scared as a ghostExtremely scared, with a humorous twistWhen the lights went out, I was as scared as a ghost.
Quivering like jellyShaking uncontrollably due to fearFacing my fear of heights, I was quivering like jelly.
Like a frightened childInnocent and intense fearLost in the crowd, he looked like a frightened child.
Paralyzed with fearSo scared that one is unable to move or reactSeeing the spider, she was paralyzed with fear.
Like a hunted animalFeeling pursued or in dangerWandering in the dark forest, I felt like a hunted animal.

Feeling scared is like being a mouse in a room full of cats, overwhelmed by fear and vulnerability. You can discover more comparisons like this in a list of similes for scared here: Similes for Scared. And when it comes to expressions about being scared or frightened, there are idioms that capture the intensity and emotions of fear, which you can explore in this collection: Idioms for Scared.

Metaphors for Scared

1. Shaking like a leaf

Meaning: Trembling uncontrollably due to fear or anxiety.

In a Sentence: When I heard the strange noise in the night, I was shaking like a leaf.

2. Jumping out of one’s skin

Meaning: Being extremely startled or frightened.

In a Sentence: The sudden thunder made me jump out of my skin.

3. Heart in one’s throat

Meaning: Feeling very nervous or frightened, causing a sensation of one’s heart rising into the throat.

In a Sentence: As I walked down the dark alley, I felt my heart in my throat.

4. Frozen with fear

Meaning: Being so scared that one is unable to move.

In a Sentence: When I saw the shadow move, I was frozen with fear.

5. Hair standing on end

Meaning: Extreme fear causing a physical reaction, like goosebumps.

In a Sentence: The eerie whisper in the room made my hair stand on end.

6. Eyes as wide as saucers

Meaning: Eyes opened wide in shock or fear.

In a Sentence: When the magician vanished, the audience’s eyes were as wide as saucers.

7. Quaking in one’s boots

Meaning: Trembling with fear, often exaggerating a little.

In a Sentence: Facing the giant roller coaster, I was quaking in my boots.

8. Like a deer caught in headlights

Meaning: Paralyzed by fear or confusion, unable to move or think.

In a Sentence: I was like a deer caught in headlights during the quiz.

9. Butterflies in the stomach

Meaning: A fluttering sensation in the stomach due to nervousness or fear.

In a Sentence: Before the big speech, I had butterflies in my stomach.

10. White as a ghost

Meaning: Extremely pale, usually due to fear.

In a Sentence: After the horror movie, she was white as a ghost.

11. Sweating bullets

Meaning: Sweating profusely due to fear or nervousness.

In a Sentence: Waiting for the results, I was sweating bullets.

12. Heart pounding like a drum

Meaning: Feeling one’s heart beat very hard and fast due to fear.

In a Sentence: Hiding from the burglar, my heart was pounding like a drum.

13. Trembling like a leaf

Meaning: Similar to shaking like a leaf, indicating extreme fear or anxiety.

In a Sentence: As the storm raged, I was trembling like a leaf.

14. Petrified like stone

Meaning: Being so scared that one feels unable to move as if turned to stone.

In a Sentence: When I saw the snake, I was petrified like stone.

15. Cowering like a mouse

Meaning: Displaying fear by shrinking away or trying to hide.

In a Sentence: The loud explosion had us cowering like mice.

16. Running scared

Meaning: Being so frightened that one feels the urge to run away.

In a Sentence: Hearing the footsteps behind me, I was running scared.

17. Scared out of one’s wits

Meaning: Extremely frightened, to the point of losing one’s composure.

In a Sentence: The haunted house experience left us scared out of our wits.

18. Scared stiff

Meaning: So frightened that one can’t move.

In a Sentence: The sudden scream in the night left me scared stiff.

19. Panic-stricken

Meaning: Overwhelmed with sudden fear or panic.

In a Sentence: Lost in the forest, I was panic-stricken.

20. Terrified to the bone

Meaning: Extremely scared, to the very core.

In a Sentence: The thought of being alone in the house terrified me to the bone.

21. Like a rabbit in headlights

Meaning: Frozen in fear, not knowing how to react.

In a Sentence: When asked a difficult question, she was like a rabbit in headlights.

22. Nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof

Meaning: Extremely jittery or anxious.

In a Sentence: Before the interview, I was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof.

23. Like a fish out of water

Meaning: Feeling completely out of place or uncomfortable.

In a Sentence: In the new school, I felt like a fish out of water.

24. Shivers down one’s spine

Meaning: A sensation of fear or disgust that makes one feel a shivering sensation.

In a Sentence: The ghost story sent shivers down my spine.

25. Like a haunted house

Meaning: Suggesting an eerie, frightening atmosphere.

In a Sentence: The abandoned building was silent like a haunted house.

26. Scared as a ghost

Meaning: Extremely scared, possibly with a humorous twist.

In a Sentence: When the lights went out, I was as scared as a ghost.

27. Quivering like jelly

Meaning: Shaking uncontrollably, often due to extreme fear or nervousness.

In a Sentence: Facing my fear of heights, I was quivering like jelly.

28. Like a frightened child

Meaning: Exhibiting the innocent and intense fear often seen in children.

In a Sentence: Lost in the crowd, he looked like a frightened child.

29. Paralyzed with fear

Meaning: So scared that one is unable to move or react.

In a Sentence: Seeing the spider, she was paralyzed with fear.

30. Like a hunted animal

Meaning: Feeling as though one is being pursued or in danger.

In a Sentence: Wandering in the dark forest, I felt like a hunted animal.

Here are 10 quiz questions based on the metaphors for fear mentioned in the article:

Quiz Questions

  1. Which metaphor describes being so frightened that one feels unable to move?
    • A) Heart pounding like a drum
    • B) Petrified like stone
    • C) Butterflies in the stomach
    • D) Like a deer caught in headlights
  2. What does ‘hair standing on end’ metaphorically express?
    • A) Confusion
    • B) Excitement
    • C) Fear
    • D) Happiness
  3. If someone is described as ‘white as a ghost,’ what are they likely experiencing?
    • A) Joy
    • B) Anger
    • C) Fear
    • D) Surprise
  4. ‘Shaking like a leaf’ is a metaphor for what emotion?
    • A) Cold
    • B) Fear
    • C) Laughter
    • D) Anger
  5. ‘Eyes as wide as saucers’ is used to describe someone who is…?
    • A) Tired
    • B) Surprised or frightened
    • C) Curious
    • D) Angry
  6. What does the metaphor ‘running scared’ imply?
    • A) Physically running away from a threat
    • B) A calm and composed demeanor
    • C) Experiencing a high level of fear
    • D) Engaging in a sports competition
  7. Which metaphor suggests a feeling of nervousness or anxiety, often before a big event?
    • A) Like a fish out of water
    • B) Butterflies in the stomach
    • C) Shivers down one’s spine
    • D) Scared stiff
  8. The expression ‘frozen with fear’ means…
    • A) Feeling cold
    • B) Being so scared that one cannot move
    • C) Staying calm under pressure
    • D) Experiencing excitement
  9. ‘Heart in one’s throat’ is a metaphor used to express…
    • A) Love
    • B) Nervousness or fear
    • C) Health issues
    • D) Hunger
  10. If someone is ‘like a deer caught in headlights,’ they are likely…
    • A) Excited and ready to go
    • B) Paralyzed by fear or confusion
    • C) Extremely happy
    • D) Preparing for a challenge

Answers

  1. B) Petrified like stone
  2. C) Fear
  3. C) Fear
  4. B) Fear
  5. B) Surprised or frightened
  6. C) Experiencing a high level of fear
  7. B) Butterflies in the stomach
  8. B) Being so scared that one cannot move
  9. B) Nervousness or fear
  10. B) Paralyzed by fear or confusion

Conclusion

Fear is a powerful emotion, and metaphors are a beautiful way to express it. Each metaphor on our list brings a unique angle to the experience of being scared, whether it’s the physical sensation of trembling or the mental state of panic.

By understanding these metaphors, we not only enrich our language but also gain insight into the human experience of fear. So the next time you feel like you’re shaking like a leaf or have butterflies in your stomach, remember, it’s just another colorful way to express the timeless emotion of fear.

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