Words related to scare

scared (adj.)

mid-15c., "frightened, alarmed, startled," past-participle adjective from scare (v.). Emphatic scared stiff is recorded by 1900; scared shitless by 1936. Scaredy-cat "timid person" first attested 1906.

scare-monger (n.)

also scaremonger, "alarmist, one who spreads terrifying reports," 1888, from scare (n.) + monger (n.). Related: Scare-mongering.

scary (adj.)

also scarey, "terrifying, causing or tending to cause fright," 1580s, from scare (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "easily frightened, subject to scares" is from 1800. In this sense formerly sometimes colloquially as skeery, skeary; OED marks this meaning as originally and chiefly North American. Related: Scarier; scariest.

harum-scarum (adv.)
1670s (harum-starum), probably a rhyming compound of obsolete hare (v.) "harry" + scare (v.), with 'um as a reduced form of them, the whole perhaps meant to be mock Latin. As an adjective from 1751; as a noun, "reckless person," from 1784.
scarecrow (n.)

1550s, from scare (v.) + crow (n.). Earliest reference is to a person employed to scare birds. Meaning "figure of straw and old clothes made to resemble a person and set in a grain field or garden" to frighten crows and other birds from the crop is implied by 1580s; hence "gaunt, ridiculous person" (1590s). For the formation, compare daredevil.

An older name for such a thing was shewel. Shoy-hoy apparently is another old word for a straw-stuffed scarecrow (Cobbett began using it as a political insult in 1819 and others picked it up; OED defines it as "one who scares away birds from a sown field," and says it is imitative of their cry). Also fray-boggard (1530s). Middle English had skerel, apparently in the same sense, from skerren "scare."