What Does All Shook Up Mean?

All Shook Up Meaning

Definition: Someone is upset, frightened, or overexcited.

The idiom all shook up has a couple of different meanings in English. It is most commonly used to express extreme disturbance or upset. Alternatively, it can be used to refer to a state of extreme happiness or excitement.

These meanings seem to contradict each other. However, the context surrounding the idiom usually makes its meaning clear.

Origin of All Shook Up

Shaken up idiom meaningThe etymology of this idiom is unclear, although it is believed that it originated in the late 19th century. However, there is little information on its first use in print. The idiom became popular once again during the latter half of the 20th century, shortly following the release of Elvis Presley’s hit song “All Shook Up.

It is worth noting that this idiom is grammatically incorrect; instead of using “shaken,” it uses shook. The idiom can also be shortened to shook up while still retaining its meaning.

Examples of All Shook Up

im all shook upThis idiom can be used in a couple of different ways. It typically expresses an extreme emotional state of either upset or happiness.

This conversation between two friends illustrates the use of this idiom in the former context.

Sheila: I heard you got robbed. Are you okay?

Rick: I’m all shook up. I can’t go to sleep anymore unless I have all the lights on.

This example conversation shows how this idiom is used to express extreme happiness.

Tim: How does it feel to finally be home?

Lee: It feels great! I’m all shook up!

More Examples

  • Brown’s cousin, Terry Brown, 47, of Englewood, who was in a self-checkout line, said she heard a lot of commotion and saw people dropping to the ground. Her first instinct was to find her cousin, so she ran outside. “I’m all shook up, I’m still shook up,” Terry Brown said. – Chicago Tribune
  • They looked whitened like zombies. They were all shook up. – Huffington Post

Summary

The English idiom all shook up is used to refer to extreme emotional states, most commonly extreme upset or excitement. Sometimes this idiom is shortened to shook up. Both the shortened and full versions have the same meaning.