set back on one's heels
Surprise, shock, or disconcert, as in The news of their divorce set us back on our heels. This idiom, with its graphic image of someone being pushed back, dates from the first half of the 1900s.
Words nearby set back on one's heels
How to use set back on one's heels in a sentence
When cities started adding chlorine to their water supplies, in the early 1900s, it set off public outcry.
Added to drinking water at concentrations of around one part per million, fluoride ions stick to dental plaque.
In his view, a writer has only one duty: to be present in his books.
Yet this, in the end, is a book from which one emerges sad, gloomy, disenchanted, at least if we agree to take it seriously.
Just the hard-on before you shoot unarmed members of the public.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Practise gliding in the form of inflection, or slide, from one extreme of pitch to another.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
He alludes to it as one of their evil customs and used by them to produce insensibility.
There was a rumor that Alessandro and his father had both died; but no one knew anything certainly.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
I waited three months more, in great impatience, then sent him back to the same post, to see if there might be a reply.The Boarded-Up House|Augusta Huiell Seaman
You would not think it too much to set the whole province in flames so that you could have your way with this wretched child.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini