Ok, we got the idiom "be scared to death" = "feel extremely frightened" (see http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/scare+to+death)

"be scared to death" does not mean "you are scared that you will be die".

Likewise, I want to express the idea that you are so scared that you almost pee in your pan?

So, can I use the expression "be scared to pee". However, when searching that term in Google, it shows many results like "The 3 years old boy is scared to pee" which means "he is afraid of peeing" but does not mean "he is extremely afraid of something to a level that he almost pees in his pan"

How to express the idea that you are so scared that you almost pee in your pan?

  • Pretty sure this question came up about 2 months ago.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 17, 2015 at 21:12
  • But "on the cusp of micturation" would be one way to say it.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 17, 2015 at 21:15

3 Answers 3


In casual speech, you would say “it scared the piss out of me”. This doesn’t mean that you actually peed yourself, but that the thing was so frightening that it could have made you do so.

  • very interesting answer, but is it idiomatic?
    – Tom
    Aug 17, 2015 at 10:02
  • and about about "I am scared the shit out of me" is also idiomatic?
    – Tom
    Aug 17, 2015 at 10:03
  • 1
    @user105551: Yes, it’s idiomatic. I’ve heard “it scared the piss out of me” mainly from UK and Southern American English speakers. In general American usage, I think you’re more likely to hear “it scared the shit out of me”. “I am scared the shit out of me” is not correct, but “I was scared shitless” is idiomatic.
    – Jon Purdy
    Aug 17, 2015 at 10:05
  • "I am scared the piss out of me" is not correct as well?
    – Tom
    Aug 17, 2015 at 10:09
  • Not to be confused with the idiom "take the piss out of <somebody>," which means to mock. Yeah, in the US you'd more likely hear "it scared the shit out of me" or "I was scared shitless." "I am scared the piss out of me" is not correct. Aug 17, 2015 at 10:36

The phrases "almost peed [my/his/her] pants" or "almost peed in [my/his/her] pants" or "would make you pee in your pants" are all standard American English, and are not generally considered crude, offensive, or inappropriate (though you wouldn't use it during a meeting with the President, you could even jokingly use it in a casual business meeting).

A common alternative is "wet [your/him/her]self." This phrase is not generally used to describe a situation that happened to oneself, but rather one which happened to or might happen to someone else (i.e. "I bet he wet himself," or "It's so freaking scary, it'll make you wet yourself.")

You cannot use the words "be scared to pee" for your intended meaning, because, as you noticed, this phrase only indicates an actual fear of urination as experienced by toddlers who are potty-training. In this phrase, the thing that causes the subject to feel fear is having to pee (rather than some external scary thing inducing urination).

"Pee in [your] pan," as in urinate in a bedpan, is not a standard phrase at all and if you say it, people will wonder if you made a mistake when you should've said "pants."

  • 2
    "He was scared stiff" is not so vulgar.
    – rogermue
    Aug 17, 2015 at 10:12
  • @rogermue - That would make a good answer! Aug 18, 2015 at 22:40
  • I was told that one-line texts should be a comment.
    – rogermue
    Aug 19, 2015 at 5:09
  • @rogermue Since it is not answer to the exact question "I want to express the idea that you are so scared that you almost pee . . ." your contribution could be edited into MRS30's answer which provided some non-urination alternatives that use an effect upon the body to depict fear.
    – seijitsu
    Aug 19, 2015 at 6:11

"So scared I almost peed my pants" stems from the effect of adrenaline, which can increasing urination.

So perhaps a phrase that highlights another effect of adrenaline on the body? "So scared my heart jumped through my chest" or "So scared I couldn't move."

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