- nervousness or fright; jitters; creeps (usually preceded by the): That horror movie gave me the willies.
Origin of willies
- a male given name, form of William.
- a female given name.
- to willow (cotton).
Origin of willy
Related Words for williesanxiety, tension, stress, impatience, agitation, sensitivity, disquiet, jitters, uneasiness, anger, turbulence, worry, nervousness, restlessness, apprehension, foreboding, uncertainty, mistrust, misgiving, angst
Examples from the Web for willies
Historical Examples of willies
The "Willies" themselves had had the best of care and attention.Life in a Tank
If I'm in for having a trained nurse do it for me, it'll give me the Willies.T. Tembarom
Frances Hodgson Burnett
They give me the jimjams, the willies, and I want to get away.A Yankee in the Far East
George Hoyt Allen
It was not Willies knock, she knew, but it might be news of Willie.The Talk of the Town, Volume 2 (of 2)
He is quite good at the Willies,24 and so I think we have got a fair chance.Sixty Squadron R.A.F.
Group-Captain A. J. L. Scott
- the willies slang nervousness, jitters, or fright (esp in the phrase give (or get) the willies)
Word Origin for willies
- British informal a childish or jocular term for penis
1896, "spell of nervousness," perhaps from the woollies, a dialectal term for "nervous uneasiness," probably in reference to the itchiness of wool garments.
see under the creeps.