it gave him the fidgets

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Lee Jongho

Senior Member
What does "it gave him the fidgets to be around her longer than five minutes" mean?

The complete sentences follow:
The insult had occurred on a day when Pitty wished to draw five hundred dollars from her estate, of which he was trustee, to invest in a non-existent gold mine. He had refused to permit it and stated heatedly that she had no more sense than a June bug and furthermore it gave him the fidgets to be around her longer than five minutes.

The source is from Gone with the Wind by Magaret Mitchell.
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you for the very helpful explanation..^^
    I should add that this expression is not current in British English, though because of the word 'fidget' and many similar expressions, most British people would understand it.

    There are no entries in the British Corpus for 'fidgets' and only seven in the American Corpus. I have a suspicion it may be mostly a Southern US expression, but I'm no authority on such matters.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's certainly not something commonly heard although it does seem to exist for some people.
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