Listen to the author reading this blog post:
This post is for anyone who feels they use the words ‘surprised’ and ‘shocked’ too much and is looking for more interesting alternatives. It will include both single words and phrases.
We were both astonished to see her there.
I had no idea he was leaving – I was astounded.
She stood there for a few moments, completely stunned.
I was staggered at the cost.
The news had left her thunderstruck.
I really wasn’t expecting her to say that – I was absolutely gobsmacked!
Sorry, I’m speechless – I don’t know what to say.
The announcement was greeted by a dumbfounded silence.
For a few seconds I couldn’t speak – I was completely dumbstruck.
I’d just heard the news and was lost for words.
For once in my life, I was at a loss for words.
Of course, there are other idioms in this area. If someone shows with their face that they are extremely surprised or shocked, you can say they are open-mouthed or that their jaw drops. To be even more emphatic, you might say someone’s jaw hit the ground:
They stared at her in open-mouthed amazement.
My jaw dropped when I heard his age.
I was in complete shock when she told us – my jaw hit the ground.
He admitted to having been taken by surprise by the announcement.
The question had caught her off guard and she looked flustered.
There are a couple of useful verbs with this meaning too. If something unexpected, for example a piece of news or a question, throws you, it makes you very surprised and confused. Even stronger is the verb floor. If something unexpected floors you, it makes you so surprised and confused, you are unable to carry on:
I was a bit thrown by the comment and didn’t know how to deal with it.
She was completely floored by the news.
That concludes my round up of words and phrases on the theme of being surprised and shocked. I would love to know your favourite idiom in your language for ‘extremely surprised or shocked’. If you have a moment, perhaps you would like to post it below?