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be in for a shock

To be guaranteed to receive or experience an unexpectedly jarring outcome, especially a negative one. If you think being a parent is easy, then you're in for a shock! Mary's been so sheltered all her life that she'll be in for a shock when she has to start paying her own bills.
See also: shock

culture shock

A sudden feeling of confusion or surprise when confronted by an unfamiliar situation or cultural environment. It is often a huge culture shock for American women traveling to the Middle East when they are expected to wear head scarves and be accompanied by a man at all times.
See also: culture, shock

short sharp shock

A fast, severe punishment. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. He needs a short sharp shock to persuade him to change his ways and give up that life of crime.
See also: sharp, shock, short

*the shock of one's life

Fig. a serious (emotional) shock. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) I opened the telegram and got the shock of my life. I had the shock of my life when I won $5,000.
See also: life, of, shock

culture shock

A state of confusion and anxiety experienced by someone upon encountering an alien environment. For example, It's not just jet lag-it's the culture shock of being in a new country. This term was first used by social scientists to describe, for example, the experience of a person moving from the country to a big city. It is now used more loosely, as in the example. [Late 1930s]
See also: culture, shock

a short, sharp shock

A short, sharp shock is a punishment that is severe but only lasts for a short time. Many parents believe that a short sharp shock is at times necessary for naughty children.
See also: sharp, shock

shock horror

People say shock horror to show that they are aware that people might be shocked or surprised by something they say. I felt intellectually superior despite — shock horror — my lack of qualifications. I even, shock horror, like the smell of fresh sweat on a woman. Note: This expression is used humorously.
See also: horror, shock

future shock

a state of distress or disorientation due to rapid social or technological change.
This phrase was coined by the American writer Alvin Toffler ( 1928–2016 ) in Horizon ( 1965 ), where he defines it as ‘the dizzying disorientation brought on by the premature arrival of the future’.
See also: future, shock

shock and awe

a name given to a US military strategy, developed in the 1990s, that relies on rapidly deployed overwhelming force to cow an enemy.
See also: and, awe, shock

shock horror

used as an ironically exaggerated reaction to something shocking.
The expression encapsulates the hyperbole of newspaper headlines, especially those in tabloid papers.
2003 Film Inside Out She encourages one of the girls to consider a career in law—shock horror! – rather than deny her intellect and settle for homemaking.
See also: horror, shock

short, sharp shock

1 a brief but harsh custodial sentence imposed on offenders in an attempt to discourage them from committing further offences. 2 a severe measure taken in order to effect quick results.
The Home Secretary William Whitelaw advocated the short sharp shock as a form of corrective treatment for young offenders at the 1979 Conservative Party Conference; the deterrent value of such a regime was to be its severity rather than the length of time served.
See also: sharp, shock

more than a little exˈcited, ˈshocked, etc.

quite or very excited, shocked, etc: Peter was more than a little disappointed not to be chosen for the team.I was more than a little surprised to see it still there two days later.
See also: little, more

ˌshock ˈhorror

(British English, informal, often humorous) used when you pretend to be shocked by something that is not really very serious or surprising: Shock horror! You’re actually on time for once!
See also: horror, shock


n. shock absorbers in an automobile. How much is a set of shocks for a buggy like this?
See also: shock

sticker shock

n. the shock at seeing just how much something new, usually an automobile, costs as determined by looking at the price tag or sticker. I went to a car dealer today, and I am still suffering from sticker shock.
See also: shock, sticker

shell shock

Psychological adverse reaction to combat. The phrase originated during World War I when intensive enemy artillery bombarding caused soldiers in the trenches to suffer from a variety of traumas that ranged from moderate panic attacks to physical and emotional paralysis. Changes in warfare and psychological lingo caused the phrase to be replaced during the Second World War by “battle fatigue” and more recently to “posttraumatic stress disorder.”
See also: shell, shock
References in periodicals archive ?
Art Newspaper maintains a list of the top 100 exhibits every year; they invariably include old European masters such as Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and Cezanne (some of whom were shocking, to be sure, in their own day).
We are pleased to announce that Eli Michelsen will join Shocking Technologies as a key member of the technical staff team in Denmark.
We are very excited to have Eli on the Shocking Team," said Kenneth Engestang, Vice President of Sales and Business Development.
I am pleased to join Shocking Technologies and to be a part of launching this new ESD technology.
An electronic shocking device secured to a person's waist, it is the hot new item in corrections gear.
Like the stun belt, the taser, and the stun gun, the shield is an electronic shocking device.
Authorities acknowledge that the belt was accidentally set off once, shocking Oswald.
ICDs deliver life-saving therapy by shocking the heart out of dangerous, potentially fatal arrhythmias (disturbances in normal heart rhythms), but the high-voltage shocks can be uncomfortable.