One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the thought of speaking in public petrified her’
terrify, horrify, frighten, scare, scare to death, scare someone out of their wits, scare witless, scare the living daylights out of, frighten the life out of, strike terror into, fill with fear, put the fear of God into, make someone's blood run cold, chill someone's blood, panic, throw into a panic, alarm, appal
paralyse, stun, stupefy, transfix
informal scare the pants off
British informal throw into a blue funk, put the wind up
Irish informal scare the bejesus out of
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