From The Shining, by Stephen King:
Jack turned back, all zero at the bone.
What is the meaning of this expression?
Zero at the bone seems to be an idiomatic expression off Emily Dickinson's poem:
The implication seemingly being a reference Zero (O° F – cold!) to the bone. Literally, a chilling fear!
It's informal and not a set idiom as such.
It's from Snake by Emily Dickinson,
It's an allusion to a basic fear (originally of serpents), it is a feeling in your bones (or perhaps soul).
Seems to mean "chilled to the bone" (not just physically).
"Wanted to meet you, but not so much by accident that you'd be suspicious."
I went zero to the bone.
The first line is spoken by the human guide of an alien visiting earth; the second is the response of the person he addresses. From Rebecca Ore's story Alien Bootlegger, collected in Gardner Dozois' "Year's Best Science Fiction, 11th Annual Collection."