Word of the Week Wednesday: Gobsmacked

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: Gobsmacked

Gobsmacked, sometimes spelled gob-smacked, is a British slang word meaning astonished or astounded.  It’s taken from the act of clapping your hand to your mouth (gob) in surprise.

Even though is started in British slang, I’ve been seeing it making way across the pond to become more and more popular here in the Colonies.

The appeal of this word to me is that it just sounds inherently funny and I’ve always been a huge fan of British-isms.

It has a slapstick quality about it.  In fact, I always picture it not so much like clapping your own hand, but as if you’re taken aback so forcefully that it’s like you’ve been smacked in the gob by the shock.




About Dan Kingsepp, ACS, ALS
I'm starting this blog to share my thought on the use of the English language and my experiences as a Toastmaster.

3 Responses to Word of the Week Wednesday: Gobsmacked

  1. dfolstad58 says:

    Gobsmacked is an excellent word. It has so much flavour and its own panache.

    Slang is constantly changing in England, and even my British friends find it hard to stay current on slang there.

    My wife was visiting in England and she was surprised /shocked when she said good-night and they replied, Good night and we will knock you up in the morning! Chuckling she found later it means they will “wake” her up in the morning.

    Careful if you use this expression “knock you up” in Canada when you have guests visiting overnight ! (grin)

    • David Folstad says:

      My wife was gobsmacked when they said that. Quality mate!

  2. So, you could even say your wife was gobsmacked when they said that, eh?

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