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Stephen Bentley - Writer

Gobsmacked: WordWednesdayFun

Gobsmacked is truly one of the great British words. Slight change of formula for this week’s post in the #WordWednesdayFun series. I am using Wordnik as the source*.

This is what they say about this wonderful British word:

Definitions
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
adj. Flabbergasted, astounded, speechless, overawed.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
adj. utterly astounded
Etymologies
As if smacked (“hit”) in the gob (“mouth (Irish / Scottish gaelic)”). (Wiktionary)
Examples
To say I was gobsmacked is something of an understatement.
My Son In Books « Tales from the Reading Room
I always liked the British slang “gobsmacked” — it sounds a little violent, but sometimes you do just feel smacked by whatever’s happening around you, you know?
Dru Blood – I believe in the inherent goodness of all beings: Stunned
Much to my surprise – I wrote at the time I was “gobsmacked” – he had indeed left his wife whom Casey believes had no knowledge of the affair and a more confident Casey was moving to his city to be with him.
The Seattle Times
Constitutional Court judges were “gobsmacked” when they learnt that
ANC Daily News Briefing
BONUS BOOT TO THE NADS: TPM’s Josh Marshall refers to this as getting “gobsmacked”:
Archive 2008-10-01
He denied it was intentional, saying he was “gobsmacked” by the charge, but a FIFA disciplinary committee on Saturday found him guilty of violent conduct.
USATODAY.com – FIFA punishment: Two-game ban for Rooney, Argentina loses two players
Anyone who can use a word like “gobsmacked” deserves to go to Blogher.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming…
Anyway, I was kind of gobsmacked by his talent and I was talking to my mum about it later this afternoon.
sheepdip Diary Entry
Top End Tourism spokeswoman Sylvia Wolf was “gobsmacked” at the outcome.
NEWS.com.au | Top Stories
Mrs Moore said she was “gobsmacked” to hear the company had ceased trading.
BBC News – Home

My own example of the word in action? I was gobsmacked to hear about the Brexit result! 🙂

The beauty of the word lies in the use of the word gob. It means mouth, as in “shut yer gob”! It is also mentally vivid. A surprise so great that it feels like a smack in the mouth – ergo ‘gobsmacked.’ I could play all day with that word 🙂

*Copyright acknowledged and the content reproduced here for entirely educational purposes


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5 Comments

  1. Gobsmacked! I was Gobsmacked when Brexit happened, doubly Gobsmacked when May became PM, and when Boris was appointed . . . I was Suicidally Gobsmacked (capital G on gob done on purpose). 🙁

  2. Adam Lawrence

    July 22, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Another good word with the suffix “gob-” is (you may want to put your asterisks to work here): “gobshite.” Urban dictionary has a good number of examples. 😉

    • No censorship for gobshite. It is such a mild and humorous word but one I love. It was heard frequently growing up in Liverpool owing to the Irish influence. I have been called a gobshite and answered in kind many times 🙂

      • Adam Lawrence

        July 24, 2016 at 6:48 am

        Yeah, that’s where I know the word from: Irish fiction and film (e.g., “The Commitments,” which is an absolute gem of a movie and treasure trove of pithy dialogue – much of which WOULD need those asterisks).

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