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catch (someone) by surprise

To startle, amaze, or come upon (someone) unawares. That car coming around the corner caught me by surprise. She was caught completely by surprise with the amount of donations she received. Don't let hidden bank fees catch you by surprise.
See also: catch, surprise

be in for a surprise

To be guaranteed to receive or experience an unexpected outcome, especially a negative one. If you think being a parent is easy, then you're in for a surprise!
See also: surprise

surprise, surprise

Said ironically of or in a situation in which something very predictable has happened. A: "I somehow managed to break yet another phone!" B: "Surprise, surprise! How many does that make it this year? I was telling Sarah about going to the movies with my friend Jess, and surprise, surprise, she launched into another fit of jealousy.
See also: surprise

be taken by surprise

To be happened upon when one is not ready, prepared, or on guard; to be shocked or startled by someone or something. I was taken completely by surprise when you showed up at my office this afternoon for lunch. I wish you would have called ahead! The enemy encampment was taken by surprise when our troops descended upon them just before daybreak.
See also: surprise, taken

element of surprise

A method of stealth or secrecy employed to catch someone off-guard. I'll get mom to let me stay out till midnight, but I can't ask her now, when she's expecting it—I need the element of surprise. The fish camouflages itself and disappears onto the ocean floor, relying on the element of surprise to catch its prey.
See also: element, of, surprise

come as no surprise

will not be surprising [for someone] to learn [something]. It will come as no surprise for you to learn that the company is losing money this year. It came as no surprise that the president had been lying.
See also: come, surprise

I'm not surprised.

 and I don't wonder.
It is not surprising.; It should not surprise anyone. Mary: All this talk about war has my cousin very worried. Sue: No doubt. At his age, I don't wonder. John: All of the better-looking ones sold out right away. Jane: I'm not surprised.
See also: not, surprise

surprise someone by something

to astonish someone by doing or being something. You surprised me by your forthrightness. No one was surprised by the way it happened.
See also: surprise

surprise someone with something

to astonish someone by presenting or showing something. I surprised her with a bouquet of roses. He surprised Roger with a new car.
See also: surprise

take someone by surprise

 and catch someone by surprise
to startle someone; to surprise someone with something unexpected. Oh! You took me by surprise because I didn't hear you come in. Bill caught his mother by surprise by coming to the door and pretending to be selling something.
See also: surprise, take

take someone or something by surprise

to startle or surprise someone or something. She bolted into the room and took them by surprise. I took the little bird by surprise, and it flew away.
See also: surprise, take

take (somebody) by surprise

to do something not expected His resignation took us all completely by surprise.
See also: surprise, take

take by surprise

Encounter unexpectedly, as in The rainshower took us by surprise. [Late 1600s]
See also: surprise, take
References in classic literature ?
Varia, who used to be always correcting him, never spoke to him now on the subject of his frequent absences, and the whole household was surprised to see Gania, in spite of his depression, on quite friendly terms with his brother.
Marilla could not help tacking on that last sentence, although she was again surprised at herself for doing it.
Powell, much slenderer than our robust friend is now, with the bloom of innocence not quite rubbed off his smooth cheeks, and apt not only to be interested but also to be surprised by the experience life was holding in store for him.
Powell was surprised not only by being engaged in conversation, but also by its character.
We were all a little surprised when we saw him; but when Friday saw him, it was easy to see joy and courage in the fellow's countenance.
The ground was still covered with snow, though not so deep and dangerous as on the mountains; and the ravenous creatures, as we heard afterwards, were come down into the forest and plain country, pressed by hunger, to seek for food, and had done a great deal of mischief in the villages, where they surprised the country people, killed a great many of their sheep and horses, and some people too.
In this manner, we came in view of the entrance of a wood, through which we were to pass, at the farther side of the plain; but we were greatly surprised, when coming nearer the lane or pass, we saw a confused number of wolves standing just at the entrance.
His glasses were in his hand, and he had just looked round; surprised at first, no doubt, by her step upon the stairs, not expecting her until night; surprised again, by seeing Arthur Clennam in her company.
As Umm Fuad, in her 40s, and her husband went to her father's home to present their wishes on Eid and offer the car key, the father surprised them by telling them he was offering them a plot of land in appreciation of their gesture.
When babies are surprised, they learn much better, as though they are taking the occasion to try to figure something out about their world.
Meanwhile, Sheila Turnbull from Newcastle is on one end of an emotional reunion after a nomination from her grandson, while a wrestling fan gets to meet her idols, and the founder of a community radio station is surprised by Boyzone and Whoopi Goldberg.
It will certainly be an emotional surprise surprise Sun ITV1 7pm Holly Willoughby is thrilled to follow in Cilla Black's footsteps as she presents the famous feelgood show "It's wonderful and scary to be handed the reins to such a classic show" How dreams come true ICON: Cilla Black New series POP SHOCK: Guests on the show are surprised to meet The Saturdays the BBC talent show The Voice earlier this year and is a team captain on Keith Lemon's ITV2 series Celebrity Juice.
I cannot say I am surprised by your biased and unbalanced reporting, half truths and poorly thought out conclusions, but .
When the party began Warren was surprised to see 20 of his close pals, who joined him for dinner, soon he was completely taken aback, as 60 more people entered with a huge cake in the shape of number 30, wishing him.