To frighten the life out of somebody?

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by El_Dodo, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. El_Dodo Member

    Sardinia, Italy
    Hi everibody!:)
    I'm new here, and this is my first post.
    I can't find this expression neither in the Dictionary nor into any forum threads.

    The context: it's into an article about powerboat races (powerboats are very fast boats which exceed 180-190 km\h - very frightful!-) in my english studentbook.
    A journalist have to write about a well-known powerboat racer... who took her for a ride in his catamaran! She says "He proved quite adept at not frightening the life out of me"

    I guess is something similar to "far morire di paura", isn't it??
    Is it quite common or not?

    Thanks in advance. (If I've made some mistakes please correct;)
  2. beccamutt

    beccamutt Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    English - US
    Ciao El Dodo and welcome to the forums!

    I would say that your translation (far morire di paura) is correct.

    As for the exact expression "to frighten the life out of someone", I have to say it seems a little odd to me. It might be more common to say "to scare the wits out of" or even "to scare the life out of". Since "scare" and "frighten" are synonyms, though, your example isn't entirely strange. I'm speaking from AE experience, of course, perhaps this is a more common saying in BE?

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  3. El_Dodo Member

    Sardinia, Italy
    Thank you Becca, very helpful:)
    I've really to improve my writing..

  4. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    The 'frighten' version is more common in Australia than the 'scare' one. :)

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