Taken Aback (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Taken Aback"?

The term taken aback means to be surprised to the extent of being stopped in your tracks. Aback is a nautical term. It means a sudden change in wind direction. When a sail ship encounters an aback, it slows considerably and can even be driven backwards.

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Taken Aback (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • She was taken aback by his sudden anger.
  • When I told my parents I'd dropped out, they were completely taken aback.
  • We were all taken aback after learning he'd returned to India.

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This page was written by Craig Shrives.