Ça m’a flanqué la trouille!
sah mah flah-kay lah TROO-yuh! Click below to hear this.*
It scared me to death!
Personally, I’d save this for the day we went ziplining for the first time. Yes, I wanted the adventure, and yes, I’d do it again, but at the time…
Flanquer means to fling, a colorful and active word that aptly describes how the fear may hit you. Literally, the sentence means It threw fear at me. Even if the person speaking is female, there is no agreement with the past participle, because that m’ is an indirect object. The way the verb works is flanquer à someone: to fling at someone. You can also just use avoir, to have: J’ai la trouille, I’m scared.
As for la trouille, it’s a slang expression whose original meaning is colic or diarrhea, believe it or not. And if you are truly terrified, well, that could happen. But no one thinks of that meaning anymore. The expression can be used in all sorts of company, and no one will think the worse of you. But it does a good job of evoking that panic in the pit of the stomach that you feel when you are scared!
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: