Jill: Hey Bill, did I tell you the story about the racoon?
Bill: No, but it sounds interesting! What happened?
Jill: Well, last week when I went to take out the garbage, a giant racoon hissed at me! I think I was interrupting his dinner!
Bill: Wow! That’s pretty scary! I heard racoons can be pretty dangerous.
Jill: Yes, they can be. He scared the daylights out of me! Tom is taking out the trash next week.
Mom: Sean! Where have you been? You said you would be home at 6. It’s almost 9! Why didn’t you call?
Sean: Sorry, mom. I was playing video games with Frank and I lost track of time. My phone battery died and I didn’t realize it until it was too late.
Mom: I was so worried. It scared the daylights out of me when I called your phone and it went straight to voicemail. Anything can happy and you know how much I worry about you!
Sean: I know mom, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you worry.
to scare the daylights out ofsomeone means the same as frightensomeone, usually unexpected and surprising.
In Example 1, the racoon surprised and scared Jill. The racoon scared the daylights out of Jill.
In Example 2. Sean frightened his mother. Sean scared the daylights out of his mother.
Scare the Daylights Out of Someone