Word of the Day: Flabbergast

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Flabbergast (flăb’ər-găst’) means to overwhelm with wonder or surprise. If you are flabbergasted, you are astonished with something.

I’m flabbergasted — never has my flabber been so gasted! (Frankie Howerd)

You, too, can make turkey chops at home and flabbergast your guests, but first you have some obstacles to overcome. (NY Times)

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7 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Flabbergast”

  1. Hey, I was under the impression that flabbergast has a negative connotation of surprise. The positive way the NY times article uses it seems like a rare occurrence.

    The more typical case seems to be how Hannah Arendt uses it to describe Eichmann:

    “That the man would gladly have himself hanged in public, you have probably read. I am flabbergasted.”

    What do you think?

  2. Cool! I just used this word in a blog post yesterday.

    “The woman on the other end said she had our dog and that he was safe. I asked her where he was, and she said, ‘Chicopee.’ I was flabbergasted.”

  3. It would seem the operative verb is not “gast” but “aghast,” which would make a lot more sense.

    1772, mentioned (with bored) in a magazine article as a new vogue word, perhaps from some dialect (in 1823 it was noted as a Sussex word), likely an arbitrary formation from flabby or flapper and aghast.

  4. Flabbergasted is not used in a negative sense. It is actually the state of being shocked or something which comes as a sudden surprise.

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