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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Idioms: Anxiety and Fear - 1,
from: 'afraid of one's shadow'   to:  'ignorance is bliss'

  • afraid of one's own shadow
    • A person who is afraid of his/her own shadow is very nervous or easily frightened.
      "I've never seen anyone so easily scared. She's afraid of her own shadow!"

  • bated breath
    • If you wait for something with bated breath, you are both anxious and excited about an imminent event.
      "We waited with bated breath for the winner to be announced."

  • make your blood run cold
    • If something makes your blood run cold, it shocks or scares you a lot.
      "The look in the prisoner's eye made my blood run cold!"

  • break out in a cold sweat
    • If you break out in a cold sweat, you begin to perspire a lot, usually from anxiety.
      "I get nervous at the dentist's and usually break out in a cold sweat."

  • bundle of nerves
    • If you describe someone as a bundle of nerves, you mean that they are very nervous, tense or worried.
      "My son is doing his driving test today. Needless to say he's a bundle of nerves!"

  • (have) butterflies in stomach
    • If you have butterflies in your stomach, you are feeling very nervous.
      "At the beginning of an exam, I always have butterflies in my stomach."

  • can't stand the pace
    • If you can't stand the pace, you are unable to do things well when there is a lot of pressure.
      "She once worked for a famous fashion designer but she couldn't stand the pace."

  • (like a) cat on hot bricks
    • A person who is like a cat on hot bricks is very nervous or restless.
      "The week before the results were published, she was like a cat on hot bricks."

  • on the edge of one's seat
    • Someone who is on the edge of their seat is very interested in something and finds it both extremely exciting and nerve-wracking.
      "Look at Bob! He's on the edge of his seat watching that rugby match!"

  • get one's fingers burnt
    • If someone gets their fingers burnt, they suffer as a result of an unsuccessful action and are nervous about trying again.
      "He got his fingers burnt so badly in the last elections that he decided to withdraw from politics."

  • heart in one's mouth
    • A person who has their heart in their mouth feels extremely anxious or nervous faced with a dangerous or unpleasant situation.
      "Emma had her heart in her mouth when she saw her two-year-old son standing in front of the open window."

  • heart misses a beat
    • If your heart misses (or skips) a beat, you have sudden feeling of fear or excitement.
      "When the lights suddenly went out, my heart missed a beat."

  • heebie-jeebies
    • A state of apprehension, nervousness or anxiety is called the heebie-jeebies.
      "Having to go down to the car park at night gives me the heebie-jeebies."

  • hold your breath
    • If someone is holding their breath, they are waiting anxiously or excitedly for something to happen or be announced.
      "I went for a second interview today - now I'm holding my breath!"

  • if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
    • This expression means that if you feel that there is too much pressure, you can leave.
      Amid the growing tension, the organiser declared : "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!"

  • ignorance is bliss
    • This means that if you don't know about a problem or unpleasant fact, you won't worry about it.
      "I didn't know our neighbour was an escaped prisoner until the police arrived - ignorance is bliss!"

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