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scare the dickens out of us

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by giuseppina.santo, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. giuseppina.santo New Member

    Italian
    Cosa significa l'espressione 'the dickens out of us' nella seguente frase?News agencies know that the best way to get excitable people like myself to read their publication is to scare the dickens out of us.
     
  2. Punk in Drublic Senior Member

    Sydney
    English (Australia)
    It is a colloquial phrase. "To scare the dickens out of us" = ti spaventano da morire

    Si puo' anche dire:

    * scare someone to death
    * scare the bejesus out of someone
    * scare the crap out of someone
    * scare the life out of someone
    * scare the living daylights out of someone
     
  3. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
  4. winegrower Senior Member

    Hey, that's really interesting. I see there's a bunch of idioms like this called Dickensian idioms, I presume from Charles Dickens. Only I'm not sure if they are called that because Dickens was the first to use similar phrases or because of the scary plots of his books.
     
  5. laratri

    laratri Senior Member

    ITALY
  6. MStraf

    MStraf Senior Member

    Actually, "dickens" is an old (1598) English euphemism for "devil"
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dickens
     

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