gobsmacked

[ gob-smakt ]
/ ˈgɒbˌsmækt /

adjective Chiefly British Informal.

utterly astounded; astonished.

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Origin of gobsmacked

Words nearby gobsmacked

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does gobsmacked mean?

Gobsmacked is an adjective that means completely shocked.

The word gobsmacked comes from England and Scotland, where it is used as slang to express extreme shock. Gobsmacked is often used by people from these areas.

Example: She was absolutely gobsmacked when she discovered a large pile of money under the floorboards.

Where does gobsmacked come from?

Based on the parts of the word, feeling gobsmacked is equivalent to feeling like you’ve been (figuratively) hit in the mouth: gob is slang for “mouth” and smack is a verb that means “to hit.” (The suffix -ed, which is used to indicate the past tense, turns the word into an adjective.) Gobsmacked originated as English and Scottish slang, and the first records of its use come from around the mid-1930s. It’s now a common slang term in the U.K. and is also used somewhat commonly in the U.S. and other English-speaking areas.

Gobsmacked means “astounded” or “astonished,” often to the point of being speechless. But you don’t say gobsmacked just any time you want to mean “shocked.” It’s a slang term that really calls attention to the fact that you were completely not expecting what happened—a lot like flabbergasted.

Gobsmacked can be used in just about any situation when someone is shocked. For example, someone might say they were gobsmacked when they won the lottery, or when they found out that something costs way more than they thought, or when a friend surprised them with a completely unexpected visit. When was the last time you were gobsmacked?

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What are some synonyms for gobsmacked?

What are some words that share a root or word element with gobsmacked?

 

 

 

How is gobsmacked used in real life?

Gobsmacked is a very informal way to say shocked. It’s mainly used in the U.K., but it’s not uncommon to hear elsewhere (probably because it’s so fun to say).

Try using gobsmacked!

Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) of gobsmacked?

A. astonished
B. amazed
C. shocked
D. unsurprised

British Dictionary definitions for gobsmacked

gobsmacked
/ (ˈɡɒbˌsmækt) /

adjective

British slang astounded; astonished

Word Origin for gobsmacked

C20: from gob ³ + smack ²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012