This paper addresses the problem of disguise in written threatening messages and investigates the connection between (meta-)linguistic awareness and the successful implementation of disguise strategies through the use of two experimental studies. The first study, a language production experiment with 116 participants, focused on the actual use of disguise strategies in the participants’ written texts. The second study, which had 167 respondents, was designed to investigate the perception of threats and respondents’ awareness and ideas of disguise. The findings of these studies indicate that sociolinguistic and metalinguistic awareness, awareness of one's own language production and the ability to manipulate language in other than outer forms of words are closely connected, which has important implications for forensic authorship analyses. Bredthauer (2013) estimated that approximately 20% of the authentic threatening messages in her corpus contained some form of disguise.