What does Gobsmacked mean?

Gobsmacked is a delightful British slang word that perfectly captures the essence of being utterly astonished or dumbfounded. When something leaves you “Gobsmacked”, it means you are so surprised that your mouth hangs open, as if a smack has been delivered to your gob – British slang for mouth. It’s like having a verbal knockout delivered straight to your speechless self!



What's the origin of Gobsmacked?

The origins of the word “Gobsmacked” can be traced back to the streets of Britain in the mid-20th century. It is a combination of two words: “gob,” meaning mouth, – a loanword from Irish – and “smacked,” meaning struck with force.

The term gained popularity among the working class of Britain and quickly made its way into everyday conversation in the decades following the 1950s. It’s now a beloved and widely used term to describe moments of awe and astonishment.

Spread & Usage

How did Gobsmacked spread?

“Gobsmacked” has unquestionably gained momentum and crossed the borders of its humble British beginnings. Thanks to the rise of British pop culture, the charming term has become a favorite among people across the globe, even finding its way into the vocabulary of non-British folks. Its playful and vivid imagery makes it a versatile phrase that can be used in various situations.

Whether it’s in response to a breathtaking magic trick, an unexpected plot twist in your favorite TV show, or the sight of your best friend pulling off an outrageous dance move, using the term “Gobsmacked” instantly adds a touch of whimsy to your exclamations of surprise.

Example: “Well, I was simply gobsmacked when I saw my friend skydiving while eating a slice of pizza! I couldn’t believe my eyes—or my taste buds, for that matter!”

So, dear reader, next time you find yourself in a state of sheer disbelief, let the word “Gobsmacked” roll off your tongue. It’s a fun and quirky phrase that pays homage to the rich linguistic tapestry of the British Isles and will leave your friends and acquaintances grinning from ear to ear.

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