Origin of flabbergast18th-c. slang from uncertain or unknown; perhaps flabby + aghast
This woman is flabbergasted.
When you make a very surprising announcement that leaves all others stunned, this is an example of a situation where you flabbergast the listeners.
transitive verbflab·ber·gast·ed, flab·ber·gast·ing, flab·ber·gasts
Origin of flabbergastOrigin unknown
(third-person singular simple present flabbergasts, present participle flabbergasting, simple past and past participle flabbergasted)
- To overwhelm with bewilderment; to stun, confound or amaze, especially with ludicrous affect.
- He was flabbergasted to find that his work had been done for him before he began.
- Her stupidity flabbergasts me, and I have to force myself to keep a straight face while she explains her beliefs.
- I love to flabbergast the little-minded by shattering their preconceptions about my nationality and gender.
- The oddity of the situation was so flabbergasting I couldn't react in time for anyone to see it.
Origin uncertain. Hotten says it is from Old English ; Whitney and Smith suggests flabby or flap (strike) + gast (astonish) ; The Imperial Dictionary connects it with flabber (related to flap, to strike) + the root of aghast, and notes that flabagast may have been the root (to strike aghast) ; first documented as slang in 1772; Cassell gives it as dialectical from Suffolk, from flap or flabby + aghast, possibly related to Scottish flabrigast (to boast) or flabrigastit (worn out with exertion) ; Smith relates it to flab (to quake) or flap (to make a flap over something) + Middle English agasten (to terrify), and relates it to aghast, ghastly and ghost