Idiom: "To be scared stiff"
Meaning: To be really frightened of something; when something frightens you so much, you cannot even move any part of your body.
Jill: Trevor, you look a little pale. What's wrong?
Trevor: I just went to Knott's Scary Farm last night and I still haven't recovered.
Jill: What do you mean? Isn't that supposed to be fun?
Trevor: Well, it wasn't fun for me. All these crazy looking people and monsters kept jumping out to grab me when I was walking or going on the rides. At one point, I was scared stiff and I couldn't even move a muscle.
Jill: You know that those monsters are just people dressed up in costumes to look scary, right?
Trevor: Yes, I do. But once I arrived there in the dark, they seemed real! Then, when I got home I had the worst nightmare I've ever had and I woke up scared stiff. I couldn't even get up to turn on the light!
Jill: Wow! Maybe you shouldn't go out on Halloween anymore!
Sarah: You are not going to believe what happened to me last night!
Sarah: Well, I was spending the night at Jennifer's house and I was sleeping on her sofa. For some reason, I woke up in the middle of the night, sensing that I wasn't alone. I heard heavy breathing and saw the shadow of something coming toward me. I was scared stiff! I actually thought it was a monster or something!
Jackie: Really? What happened after that?
Sarah: It came closer and closer. I was still scared stiff and could not move at all. Then, all of a sudden, a cute little puppy jumped up on the sofa and started licking my face! It was Jennifer's new dog, Cuddles. He is so cute and playful!
Jackie: At least you had a happy ending!
Meaning: To be scared stiff means to be so afraid or frightened of something that a person cannot move any part of the body. In the first example, Trevor went to Knott's Scary Farm on Halloween and became frightened when he was there, even though he knew it was all fake. In the second example, Sarah thought a strange creature was going to attack her in the middle of the night, but it ended up being a cute, little puppy. This idiom is especially useful around Halloween! For more information, please visit:www.languagesystems.com.