catch (one) by surprise

(redirected from caught them by surprise)

catch (one) by surprise

To startle, amaze, or come upon one 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: by, catch, surprise
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Teams from the Kenya Police, General Service Unit, Kenya Red Cross, Fire brigade among others were on the ground to put out the fire as hundreds of traders watched from a distance with dozens of police officers deployed blocking entry to the burning section.Ms Joan Njeri, a trader at the market, said many of the traders were in shock since the fire caught them by surprise.
Water Resources Authority Naivasha sub-county regional manager Geoffrey Mworia said the floods caught them by surprise.
'That's why we caught them by surprise with our blocking and forced them to commit errors because of that.'
Despite such ambition, instant fame surely caught them by surprise, the band signed within weeks of forming with their eventual debut record selling north of 1.5 million copies, boasting no less than six successful singles and peaking at number 2.
The gunmen caught them by surprise and shot them," said a police source who requested anonymity.
"They had been out a little while and I think we caught them out a little bit and caught them by surprise.
Melbourne, Dec 23 (ANI): England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said that Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson caught them by surprise in Perth, and added it won't happen again.
Behind the scenes however, work is under way to try and fashion some kind of response to a situation United's insiders admit has caught them by surprise, if only because of the manner of it.
They have not been able to do that this summer however, as a more vibrant England side has caught them by surprise.
"It caught them by surprise. They didn't realize how dry it was," Lively said.
Cantor may ahve been hardest hit, having been shortest about shirts and spokesman Ian McAleavy explained that the absence of Juan Veron caught them by surprise.
Some tourists and children told French television they had been very frightened as the fire caught them by surprise and engulfed some small huts near the beach.
Marable said the order caught them by surprise because when LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra introduced himself to the transport sector last month, 'he didn't talk about this plan.'