One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
plural nounhumorous, informal
1Stomach pain or queasiness.‘an attack of collywobbles’
- 1.1 Intense anxiety or nervousness.‘such organizations give him the collywobbles’
worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, consternation, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, perturbation, fretfulness, agitation, angst, nervousness, nerves, edginess, tension, tenseness, stress, misgiving, trepidation, foreboding, suspenseView synonyms
- ‘In spite of Littbarski's collywobbles there was no doubt that the Germans had the stomach for the task.’
- ‘After a last-minute Dave Rainford goal in the first game had denied them a quarter-final FA Trophy win against Bishop's Stortford, Fleet were once again haunted by the late collywobbles in last midweek's replay at Stonebridge Road.’
- ‘So it's an extraordinary business, where you have to fight to get the job that's going to give you collywobbles to get it, and then the drama begins all over again, that you get the job, and then you worry about the reviews.’
- ‘All of which statistics are likely to send the usual collywobbles up the council's collective spine - even though The Valley used to be the biggest club ground in the country, and comfortably held crowds of up to 70,000.’
- ‘Throwing himself into one of the office's numerous squashy chairs, Irvine admits to a last - minute attack of the collywobbles.’
- ‘Tracking the progress of the Merced-Itanium will cause many an attack of the collywobbles for commentators.’
- ‘Yet there needn't have been any late collywobbles in the Bury ranks had they made the most of their superior possession.’
- ‘One thing is certain: there will be more collywobbles on May 5 than on the previous two election nights put together.’
- ‘Last week, after a month-long bout of the collywobbles, Vodafone accepted a third generation B licence.’
- ‘But after Rooney disappears to check on the day's shoot, Kidd reveals that the second run will be raunchier than the first, possibly prompting more network collywobbles.’
- ‘Any initial collywobbles I might have had about stepping into a room full of strangers were immediately dispelled when the very first person I clapped eyes on turned out to be someone I already knew: David.’
- 1.1 Intense anxiety or nervousness.
Early 19th century: fanciful formation from colic and wobble.
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