Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Scared Me Half To Death

My life in appalachia - Scared the Living Daylights Out Of Me

I took the photos above back in April or May of this year. I was sitting at the far end of the garden waiting on Pap and Paul to get the tillers cranked for the first time of the season. I zoomed in on the Three Indian Princesses to see what they were up to. Obviously they saw something suspicious in the creek.

After conferring one with another-they decided to move in for a closer look-screams and shrieks soon followed. It didn’t take them long to leave the dark creek bank and high tail it back to the safety of the sunshiny plowed field. Knowing they had seen something that spooked them-I told Pap and Paul as much. Paul yelled and asked them what they seen.

The ensuing attempts to explain what they saw, with sign language from the far end of the field, were funnier than the photos. Chatter held one hand up with her palm facing us-fingers spread wide. Then using the index finger of her other hand she drew a large circle on her palm. The other girls stood stock still beside her; all had stoic facial expressions which if you know them is totally bizarre in itself. In just mere seconds they were off continuing their search for arrowheads in Paps big garden like nothing had happened. It was such an odd sight Paul, Pap, and I all had a good laugh over it.

What the girls seen surely made them say:

  • scared the living daylights out of me (what are living daylights?)
  • scared me to death
  • scared stiff
  • scared me half to death (I guess half to death is better than death)
  • scared the beejesus out of me
  • scared witless
  • scared as a rabbit in a fox hole
  • had me quaking in my boots
  • gave me a case of the heebie jeebies
  • scared as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs
  • gave me the willies

Got any to add?



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  • Reply
    October 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Scared stiff
    Scared out of your wits

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    October 30, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Scared spitless, scared the pants off me. I also know the one nobody is willing to print, lol! As for scared half to death – much better than scared to death – easier to get back!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    You’ve just about covered them all. Maybe – scared out of my skin or I was a bundle of nerves.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    October 28, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Was it a huge spider? Nana

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    October 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Gave me a fright!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    October 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    As the Eskimos have so many words for snow, so we have so many words for scared….Great post.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Heard of most of those and instead of scared me silly, we used to say, scared me senseless. Good story Tipper, must of been a kick watching them.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Well, I can think of at least one more, but it’s not polite to say out loud, so I won’t type it either.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Scared 1/2 to death was my Mothers favorite. Scared witless is mine. OK what did they see, like one of the other posts spider sounds like what they may have been describing.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Scared me within an inch of my life!

  • Reply
    Rose C
    October 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    The only one fit to print is it made my head spin!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    Heard about all but two I can’t print….My husband was skeered one time by friends while walking home by a so called “crazy mans house” on a country road. He said,…”I run in air for 5 minutes ‘fore my feet hit the ground trotin’.
    Thanks for a fun post,

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I just wonder what they saw! I’ve heard most of these and use some of them.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 8:57 am

    i always say “that scared me silly”

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Not the best example to post, but “skeered my britches off” comes to mind. It has been years since I have heard this due to not being the best expression to use in polite company. LOL. Nonetheless, it is one of those gems unique to Appalachia.
    I bet it was one of those creek critters that “scared the wits out of them.”

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

    good, descriptive phrases all but what the heck did they see????

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Scared me crosseyed after it scared me silly and some scared me’s i can’t print.haha Must have been a big old spider that scared those girls.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    October 27, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Don’t think I can add any to that list. It must have been a “hoot” watching that unfold.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I’ve heard several more but in they aren’t fittin to be printed in your fine column. Working in Law Enforcement you hear a lot of language used to describe events that aren’t printable in an article for mixed readership but suffice it say the folks were scared outa their gourds.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 27, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Made my skin crawl
    Gave me the creeps
    Made my hair stand up (as if I had any left.)
    Scared silly

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 27, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Scared the life out of me.
    Comment: i guess I was thinking like an engineer long before I became one. I remember hearing “Scared me half to death” when I was little and wondering how the person KNEW that it was HALF and not 3/4 or 1/4!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    October 27, 2011 at 7:32 am

    So, what DID they see in the creek??? I’m no good at sign language either. Five round things…??

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Tipper, I know a couple more but they are not fit to print.LOL. So I will refrain.
    Now, what I want to know is…what was it that scared the girls so badly?
    A spider as big as her hand?
    A disinbodied hand in the bush?
    50 spiders in a tree?
    After that spooky spider post I seem to have spiders on my mind!

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    October 27, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Well sir, I do believe I have heerd purt nigh all of em! Even so I am a getten nerveser and nerveser as the October days get shorter and the nights get darker! I jest hope that moon gets full agin before Halloween comes around!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Laurie Stone
    October 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

    How about:
    Scared the shadow right off my back

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Nope, I think you’ve covered them all. LOL

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