afraid of one's own shadow

Idioms & Phrases

afraid of one's own shadow

Very timid and fearful, as in Richard constantly worries about security; he's afraid of his own shadow. This hyperbole has been used in English since the early 1500s, and some writers believe it originated in ancient Greece.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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