|bolt from the blue||To refer to something as a bolt from the blue means that it happened totally unexpectedly and was a complete surprise.|
The chairman’s resignation came as a bolt from the blue.
|out of the blue||If something happens out of the blue, it happens unexpectedly and causes a surprise.|
I had nearly given up hope when out of the blue I was offered a job.
|caught unawares||If someone is caught unawares, they are surprised and unprepared for what happens.|
The security guard moved so silently that the thief was caught unawares.
|do a double take||Someone who does a double take looks again in surprise at something unexpected.|
He did a double take when he saw his wife in a restaurant with another man.
|drop a bombshell||If you drop a bombshell, you make an unexpected announcement which will greatly change a situation.|
The chairman dropped a bombshell when he announced the merger with the company’s biggest rival.
|eyes on stalks||If your eyes are on stalks when you look at something, they are wide open with surprise or amazement.|
The child’s eyes were on stalks as he watched the magician’s performance.
|jaw drops||If someone’s jaw drops, they show total amazement.|
When the prize was announced, the winner’s jaw dropped.
|jump out of one’s skin||If you jump out of your skin, you are extremely surprised or shocked.|
Jane nearly jumped out of her skin when the horse put its head through the kitchen window!
|knock your socks off||If something amazes you, or impresses you greatly, it knocks your socks off.|
The magnitude of the project will knock the socks off everyone in the office.
|knock down with feather||To say ‘you could have knocked me down with a feather’ emphasizes the fact that you were extremely surprised.|
When I heard the name of the winner, you could have knocked me down with a feather!
|lo and behold!||This term is used to express surprise, especially at a sudden or unexpected appearance.|
I was watering the flowers when, lo and behold, there was the watch I’d lost!
|nine-day wonder||An event which is a nine-day wonder causes interest, surprise or excitement for a short time, but it doesn’t last.|
His sudden departure was a niine-day wonder but he was soon forgotten.
|raise eyebrows||Someone who raises their eyebrows at something shows surprise or disapproval by the expression on their face.|
When the boss arrived in jeans, there were a lot of raised eyebrows
|rooted to the spot||If you are so shocked, surprised or scared that you are rooted to the spot, you reaction is so strong that you are unable to move.|
Joe stood rooted to the spot as the plane landed on the water.
|seeing is believing||This expression means that when you see something that seems incredible you can be sure it exists, or that what you have been told is really true.|
Mark says bananas grow in his garden, but seeing is believing!
|stop dead in tracks||If you stop dead in your tracks, you stop suddenly because you are totally surprised or frightened.|
When Steve saw the snake, he stopped dead in his tracks.
|struck dumb||If someone is struck dumb, they are unable to speak because they are so surprised, shocked or frightened by something.|
The accused was struck dumb when the verdict was announced.
|taken unawares||If something takes you unawares, it surprises you because you were not expecting it.|
His angry reaction took me unawares.
|there’s no accounting for taste||This expression is used to indicate surprise at another person’s likes or dislikes.|
She fell in love with a guy who’s short, fat, bald and poor … there’s no accounting for taste!
|wonders will never cease||This saying is used to express pleasure or surprise at something.|
The price of petrol has dropped! Wonders will never cease!
|words fail me||This expression is often used when someone is so shocked, surprised or touched by something that they don’t know what to say.|
“What do you think of Bob’s attitude?” “Words fail me!”