English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips> 译通四海> 翻译服务

Scare the daylights out of

[ 2009-07-23 14:10]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

Reader question: 'Look mate, don't ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"

Could you explain “scare the daylight out of”?

Now every language has its more colorful moments and today we will look at an expression that is full of such drama.

First let’s imagine you are walking down the street and just when you turn a corner a man with a huge dog comes the other way, forcing you to drop your bag and scream. “ahhh!”

After a few seconds, you calm down and then the man quickly apologizes for frightening you and you respond saying, “Wow you scared the daylights out of me.”

Now basically this means you really terrified me.

In English we think or refer to someone who is alive as having a light on inside.

“The daylights” can also be used to refer to someone’s vital life signs e.g., “Pacman beat the daylights out of Hatton scoring a knockout in the second round.” In this case the defeated boxer on the floor looks like he is dead and has thus had the lights beaten out of him.

The phrase can also be used when you are frightened significantly to the point where you think you were in a life or death situation – and in this case the term “living” is often added, e.g. “you scared the living daylights out of me.”

So I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a little nervous after all this talk which reminds me – when I was a kid I used to prefer to sleep with the light on.

Related stories:

Be on the cards

Rule of thumb

Red tape

Deferred Happiness Syndrome

Take the high road

A feeling for a "soft touch"


Toxic assets 有毒资产

Pet project






About the author:

Scare the daylights out of

About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.