surprise by

surprise (one) by (doing) (something)

To shock, amaze, or astonish one by doing, possessing, or demonstrating something. I must say, he surprised me by his honesty. I thought for sure he'd try to deny it or weasel his way out of a punishment. The kids surprised me by making me breakfast in bed for my birthday.
See also: by, 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: by, surprise
References in periodicals archive ?
We are such control freaks that when we do desire a tiny little element of surprise in our lives we choose a little gambling experience or extreme sporting encounter knowing full well that we can end the element of surprise by walking away from the game.