be taken aback

taken aback

Startled, astonished, shocked, or disconcerted. All of us were a bit taken aback to learn that John was moving to England next month. I must admit that I was taken aback when I heard we weren't receiving our bonuses this year.
See also: aback, taken

be taken aˈback (by somebody/something)

be shocked or surprised by somebody/something: She was completely taken aback by his anger.
See also: aback, taken
References in periodicals archive ?
Cons: Parents may be taken aback by how raucously risque some of the humor really is (Siegfried spritzes on some animal pheromones, resulting in a string of bestial suitors).
Readers will be taken aback at the level of poverty endured when a caretaker bureaucracy failed, and will be warmed by the resilience of a people who overcame much and are still with us.
Indeed, fans of the most disturbing twists and turns of that celebrated series might well be taken aback by what Morel has to offer here.
I AM sure that I am not the only person to be taken aback by Esther McVey's letter (Daily Post, May 27) concerning MPs' expenses.
AM I the only Journal reader to be taken aback by the comments of Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford from Avon and Somerset Police (The Journal, January 3)?
And while temporary exemptions exist for new ventures with taxable receipts below $500,000, many small ventures may be taken aback when they receive letters saying they could owe back taxes.
Reynolds, who surprised many with his performance in ``Boogie Nights,'' seemed to be taken aback by the academy's selection.