butterflies in one's stomach

(have) butterflies in one's stomach (to feel nervous about something) — нервничать, волноваться; пробивать на нервную дрожь; сосет под ложечкой (от волнения);
An exam, or even an exciting social event may produce butterflies in the stomach:

Example 1: "I told all of my students that it's normal for them to have butterflies in their stomach because it's only their first performance."

Example 2: Shirley always has butterflies in the stomach before a visit to the dentist. — Ширли всегда бьет нервная дрожь перед посещением зубного врача.

Fear is an emotion for which English slang offers a variety of expressions: (the) heebie-jeebies, creeps, shakes, shivers. These words refer to substantial fear though not enough to petrify us.

(The) fidgets, jitters, and willies (= a fearful uneasiness), are words expressing a lesser degree of fear, fearfulness or just queasiness. (Notice that all these terms are treated like some common diseases by the use of THE before them: We have the willies, the jitters, the creeps, just as we have the measles, the whooping-cough, the pox, and even the blues.)

Anything that frightens us gives us the willies / the jitters: "I get the willies just thinking about asking the boss for a raise." Often we get the willies from normal things we all have to do: "Fred gets the willies every time he steps into the dentist's office." (alphadictionary.com)

stomach in knots {infml}
› If your stomach is in knots, it feels tight and uncomfortable because you are nervous or excited.

Related vocabulary
[сидеть как на иголках]
[on tenterhooks]



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