Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Meaning of “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid”

The phrase ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ has comic undertones coupled with warnings of dangers about to occur. It is also used as a comical effect to warn a person for silliest dangers such as ‘a certain pet is too cute, be afraid, be very afraid’. However, the phrase also a literal warning for any problem a person might face in the future.

Origin of “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid”

The phrase ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ is originated from a film named The Fly. It was a horror film by Canadian David Cronenberg released in 1986. A character Quaife responds using this phrase, ‘No. Be afraid. Be very afraid’. However, its first use was noted earlier in a TV series, All My Children telecast back in 1970. Here the phrase was used in its short version ‘Be very afraid’.

Examples of Literature

Example #1

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid by Lumber Jack

We’re all afraid of something,
All have our strange little fears,
They might even cause a panic attack,
Or force you to shed a few tears.

I’m gonna share a few of mine,
But there not your usual fright,
They’re not like fears of the dark,
Or things that go bump in the night.

But clowns on the other hand,
Send me to my tomb,
They make me wanna slit my wrists,
Or choke on toxic fume.

Large bodies of water-that’s right,
No summertime ‘fun’,
Cause to me thats like staring,
Down a fully loaded gun.

I’d rather be on death row,
Or worse-sit through math,
Than have a holly jolly mascot,
come and cross my path.

Talking in front of the class,
It dosent get much worse,
It’s silent and it’s akward,
Like the backseat of a hearse.

I’m afraid to die,
Cause when I’ve passed and when I’m gone,
I’m afraid my memory won’t
Live and carry on.

These are some of my fears,
But please don’t tell,
Cause then they’ll see my soft side,
And not just my tough outer shell.

The poem contains the phrase through the story, who says that he has many fears. However, these are not relevant to the common fears of the people. He is not fearful of even death. He is afraid of mathematics class, as he becomes fearful and silent. He is fearful of speaking in class. At the end of the poem, he tells the readers should not spread these fears which is quite ironic. Hence, it seems that the story of the poem syncs with the meanings of the title.

Example #2

Be Afraid Baby, Be Very Afraid song by LA-BAS

We throw the pole lady
Double check the dream,
Drop a chain across that tender throat
They’re gonna hex you
They got that extra sense,
And since you’re gone, I can’t protect you
And you come from, so they decked the hall
They hung the gate, they’re gonna get to you
You’d better respect them
You’d better respect them

Be afraid baby, be very afraid
There’ll be devils you wished that you stayed
Be afraid baby, be very afraid
They sense you’re shaking,
You’d better learn how to free
‘Cause who you choose to love,
Is who you used to love.

The singer compares the pole lady with a witch. He warns people that she might hex them. Here the pole lady might be a club dancer. He is asking his listeners to respect them despite their job. He also warns them to be afraid of the charm and not to get attached to them.

Example #3

 Be Afraid — Be Very Afraid! by R. L. Stine

The book is about a teenager, Conner Buckley. When monotony and boredom take their toll on him, he joins hands with his friend, Emily Zinman, to visit Mr. Zarwid’s yard sale. However, Mr. Zarwid pours invectives on them, alleging they are thieves and chases them to their homes. Connor then decides to teach him a lesson and takes away a deck of cards used to play a game Be Afraid. Although the story ends with the warning from Mr. Zarwid, Eventually the reader realizes that he does not mean any harm to the children and just wanted to warn them.

Example #4

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The Book of Scary Urban Legends by Harold Brunvand

The book is a collection of creepy and amazing stories. A few stories are familiar to the children, and they continue causing goosebumps, as we still look for those legends around us. Hence, the phrase is used by the author as the title of the book.

Examples of Sentences

Example #1: “Be afraid, be very afraid; he is coming to you. My cat is about to pounce on you like a lion.”

Example #2: “Sherlock’s stories are still so mysterious for any generation. When you read, you better be afraid, be very afraid. You will be addicted.”

Example #3: “Hanna’s dad always warns his children to be afraid, be very afraid when his mother arrives. He tells not to tell that cinnamon rolls are bought from the bakery and not homemade. Hanna’s grandmother prefers only homemade food on Thanksgiving day.”

Example #4: “If you love watching Creeped Out TV show on Netflix, be afraid, be very afraid because some are not tall tales. They are true stories.”

Example #5: “Be afraid, be very afraid when you are walking alone at nights, warned Jody’s mother. Don’t wander in the isolated streets. Find a crowded place and be under the light.