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He was flabbergasted

He was totally astonished


flabbergasted = verblüfft, platt sein --- GOOGLE INDEX flabbergasted: approximately 975,000 Google hits



Francois Curiel, Christie's international director for jewellery and the auctioneer at the sale, said the crowd at the event was FLABBERGASTED by the high prices on display.

(BBC News)

The researchers said they were FLABBERGASTED by the findings, which will help biologists predict how climate change and habitat loss will affect the birds.

(The Guardian)

Did you


- to be overcome with astonishment

The American Heritage Dictionary


This amazing word turns up first in print in 1772, in an article on new words in the Annual Register: "Now we are flabbergasted and bored from morning to night". Presumably someone had put together flabber and aghast to make one word.

The source of the first part is obscure. It might be linked to flabby, suggesting that somebody is so astonished that they shake like a jelly.

The second part of the word, "gast," is probably from the Middle English word "gasten," meaning to terrify, which also gave us "aghast." "Gasten" itself comes from the Old English word "gast," or spirit, which also gives us "ghastly" and "ghost."

But flabbergasted could have been an existing dialect word, as one early nineteenth-century writer claimed to have found it in Suffolk dialect and another - in the form flabrigast - in Perthshire. More than this, nobody knows with any certainty.

The British comedian Frankie Howerd used to say in mock astonishment: "I'm flabbergasted - never has my flabber been so gasted!". That's about as good an explanation for the origin of this word as you're likely to get.


addled, agape, aghast, agog, appalled, astonished, astounded, awed, awe-struck, baffled, befuddled, bowled over, dazed, dazzled, disconcerted, dizzy, dumbfounded, dumbstruck, flipped out, floored, flustered, giddy, in a dither, mystified, perplexed, puzzled, rattled, reeling, shocked, shook up, speechless, staggered, startled, stumped, stunned, stupefied, surprised, taken aback, thrown, thunderstruck, unglued


"I was flabbergasted when I heard the election result."

Thanks to Hans for suggesting today's word!

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