"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

To be taken aback

The phrase to be taken aback means to be astonished, astounded or taken by surprise. The word aback comes form the days of the sailing ships when it meant the sail pressing against the mast and progress being suddenly halted.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I most certainly didn't know this one! Whenever I use it, it will be with a whole new picture in my mind!