gobsmacked

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

As if smacked (hit) in the gob (mouth (Irish / Scottish gaelic)).

Attested since 1959, from Northern English dialect, particularly Liverpool, popularized via television.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

gobsmacked (comparative more gobsmacked, superlative most gobsmacked)

  1. (chiefly Britain, Australia, slang) Flabbergasted, astounded, speechless, overawed.
    • 1925 December 1, A Yorkshire Clod-Hopper, “From a Yorkshire Clod-Hopper”, in The Bee-keepers' Record[1], volume 49-53, J. Herrod-Hempsall, retrieved 2018-06-08, page 175:
      That wad mack im about yam sick, so ower Ilkla' moor bar-tat wish un best of luck at Ilkley Station, and when he landed back Martha wad be fare gob smacked at the yarns he wad tell 'er about Yorkshire clod-hoppers.
    • 1989 Aug. 7, Glenn Frankel, "Salman Rushdie's Life on the Run," Los Angeles Times:
      We were as appalled and stunned and confused and gobsmacked (punched on the mouth) as anyone else.
    • 2008 June 16, Caroline Mallan, "Linwood Barclay novel wins a plug on key UK book list," Toronto Star (Canada), p. A2:
      "I guess the word would be gobsmacked," Barclay said, of his reaction. "I am stunned."

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