We ate with our hands and Abu Hassar asked me: “When were you the most scared in Iraq?”
It was all in good fun—I was never doing anything that I was scared to do.
He says attacks against women have risen, and the migrants and refugees have made people too scared to leave their homes at night.
past participle adjective from scare (v.). Scared stiff first recorded 1900; scared shitless is from 1936. Scaredy-cat "timid person" first attested 1906.
1590s, alteration of Middle English skerren (c.1200), from Old Norse skirra "to frighten; to shrink from, shun; to prevent, avert," related to skjarr "timid, shy, afraid of," of unknown origin. In Scottish also skair, skar, and in dialectal English skeer, skear, which seems to preserve the older pronunciation. To scare up "procure, obtain" is first recorded 1846, American English, from notion of rousing game from cover. Related: Scared; scaring.
"something that frightens; sudden panic, sudden terror inspired by a trifling cause, false alarm," 1520s, alteration of Middle English sker "fear, dread" (c.1400), from scare (v.). Scare tactic attested from 1948.