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 ?
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)?
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.
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.
Despite its undeniable success, however, I couldn't help but be taken aback as I sat through Les Invasions barbares.