To scare the bejesus out of someone

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Alfry, May 3, 2005.

  1. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Hello,
    I need you again.
    I'm reading a book: The Laughing Corpse by L.K. Hamilton.

    Here is the context:
    Some types of ghost seem to bear a grudge against the living. A sort of jealousy. They cannot harm you, but they scare the bejesus out of you and laugh while they're doing it.

    And here is my try:
    Alcuni tipi di fantasma sembrano nutrire del rancore nei confronti dei vivi. Una specie di gelosia. Non possono ferirti, ma ti spaventano da morire (or fino a farti bestemmiare) e ridono mentre lo fanno.

    is it used as a saying or to emphasize the "scare" (verb)?
    Can you help me, please?
    thanks in advance.
     
  2. Cathy-Anne Senior Member

    Ireland-English
    Hi Alfry,
    I think you have understood the meaning very well, to scare the bejesus out of someone means to really scare them,to really give them a fright. It's a colloquial phrase that is mostly used in American English to emphasize how frightening or scary something is. As for its origins, I'm not sure....

    HTH!

    C
     
  3. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    thank you very much Cathy-Anne.
    ;)
     
  4. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Infatti non c'entra niente con bestemmiare.

    They cannot harm you, but they scare the bejesus out of you and laugh while they're doing it.
    Non possono farti del male, ma ti fanno venire una fifa blu (o ti spaventano a morte) e ridono mentre lo fanno.

    (L'impersonale si può tradurre anche in altri modi, che sono sicura conosci già ;))
     
  5. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    l'idea del bestemmiare mi è venuta per il 'bejesus'.
    Meglio così ;)
     
  6. ikester Senior Member

    Naples, Italy
    US - American English
    Actually, some would indeed consider it una bestemmia... I looked up the the etymology of the word and found this: "Early 20th century - an alteration of 'by Jesus!'"

    ciao,
     
  7. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    so I was not that far considering it almost a bestemmia
     
  8. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    So why do you think it has been altered? :rolleyes: It goes without saying ;)
     

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