Meaning of willies in English:


Pronunciation /ˈwɪlɪz/

Translate willies into Spanish

plural noun

informal the willies
  • A strong feeling of nervous discomfort.

    • ‘that room gave him the willies’
    • ‘It gives even field-hardened terrorism experts the willies: bad guys launching shoulder-fired missiles at jetliners, killing hundreds and grounding air traffic.’
    • ‘One tape gives me the willies - it's about a stuffed bear who is rejected in the store because he lacks a button, so at night he searches through the department store for the button that will make him loved.’
    • ‘Because we don't have the experience of what would have happened under other policy settings, I think bright-eyed economic rationalism still gives people the willies.’
    • ‘The notion of having the government take over an industry that represents about 15 percent of the U.S. economy gives U.S. executives the willies.’
    • ‘No one cares about it anymore; Gnat's more interested in exterior ants, the Death Farm gives my wife the willies, but I feed them and give them water.’
    • ‘Two terms that really give me the willies are ‘sound designer’ and ‘experimental musician.’’
    • ‘‘It gave you the willies,’ said Brendan J. McGarry, a veteran transit police officer.’
    • ‘But there's no question he gives the political establishment the willies, as even the best-dressed party crashers tend to do.’
    • ‘I was delighted to hear, a couple of years ago, that barn owls had taken to peering into bedroom windows of flats in East Delhi, giving the incumbents the willies no doubt!’
    • ‘Beautiful countryside (like Canada in miniature), but those roads and the rail/car bridges gave me the willies!’
    • ‘Even other people's cats and dogs and canaries gave her the willies (as she, it often seemed, gave them).’
    • ‘OK, now that I've got the willies, let's talk about the pesky critters.’
    • ‘Lead guitarists from rock bands give me the willies also.’
    • ‘I don't know about you, but snakes give me the willies.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, the case has given everyone from the police to the courts - and yours truly - a case of the willies.’
    • ‘She believed in all sorts of things that give conservatives the willies.’
    • ‘Now I know that just the thought of having a doctor check for a problem is giving you the willies, but think about it.’
    • ‘It's a spider which in theory is harmless, except that just looking at its big hairy legs gives me the willies.’
    • ‘Frankly the history behind that name gives me the willies but its different when my dad says it.’
    • ‘Whatever the hang-up, catfish give some people the willies, even here in the Southern Catfish Belt.’


Late 19th century (originally US): of unknown origin.