taken aback

taken aback

Cliché surprised and confused. When Mary told me the news, I was taken aback for a moment. When I told my parents I was married, they were completely taken aback.
See also: aback, taken

taken aback

confused or surprised by something unexpected Company executives have been taken aback by the criticism. I asked him directly if he was looking for someone with my skills, and I think he was kind of taken aback.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of aback (backward), which is not used in modern English
See also: aback, taken
References in classic literature ?
And yet the fact remains that, had the wind failed and the fleet lost steerage way, or, worse still, had it been taken aback from the eastward, with its leaders within short range of the enemy's guns, nothing, it seems, could have saved the headmost ships from capture or destruction.
Sancho was taken aback at the sight of them, nor did Don Quixote altogether relish them: the one pulled up his ass by the halter, the other his hack by the bridle, and they stood still, watching anxiously to see what all this would turn out to be, and found that the lights were approaching them, and the nearer they came the greater they seemed, at which spectacle Sancho began to shake like a man dosed with mercury, and Don Quixote's hair stood on end; he, however, plucking up spirit a little, said:
Laurence, who looked quite taken aback, and held out her hand, saying, with only a small quaver in her voice, "I came to thank you, sir, for.
Blanche, who had by no means expected such declarations from me, but, rather, an uproar and protests, was rather taken aback.
Tom looked at her, taken aback for the moment, with admiration, slowly at first, growing in his face.
Boris remembered Natasha in a short dress, with dark eyes shining from under her curls and boisterous, childish laughter, as he had known her four years before; and so he was taken aback when quite a different Natasha entered, and his face expressed rapturous astonishment.
He was so vexed with his own folly, and so taken aback at the disaster, that he did not attempt to explain his conduct, and things would have gone badly with him if his friends the fairies had not softened the hearts of his captors, so that they once more allowed him to leave quietly.
Arthur was so taken aback that he did not for a moment know what to do or say, and before any impulse of violence could seize him he realized the place and the occasion, and stood silent, waiting.
I was taken aback by her assumption that I knew all about her domestic misfortune.
He made a movement as if he were surprised or taken aback, but answered in a moment:
They were rather taken aback sometimes at finding Rose's services preferred to their's, and privately confided to one another that "Old Mac was getting fond of being molly-coddled.
Marfa Petrovna was completely taken aback, and 'again crushed' as she said herself to us, but she was completely convinced of Dounia's innocence.
They were a good deal taken aback, and after a little consultation one and all tumbled down the fore companion, thinking no doubt to take us on the rear.
Snodgrass, rather taken aback by the abruptness of the question.
Lorry was so taken aback, that he looked quite stupidly at Mr.