Taken Aback (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

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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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs