Sunday, October 9, 2011

flabbergasted [flab-er-gast-id] (adj)

Week 2, End of Week

Like all other participants, I was blown out of the water by the Noodletools websearch engines page.Whenever I wanted to search for something on the Internet, I always used Google and even though I knew there were other search engines available such as Bing, I never used them.

But to get a page with SO many different options, some completely new to me, was quite astounding. I was completely flabbergasted.

What a great word, flabbergasted! And you know what? Nobody knows its exact etymology. It is generally assumed that the word is a portmanteau (a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)) and that it is a combination of the words "flabby" and "aghast". People's lips and facial expressions become flabby when they are aghast (struck with amazement). 

I especially liked iSeek. To compare between Google and iSeek, I looked up the word "flabbergasted" in both. The difference between the two left me stupefied, dumbstruck, dumbfounded, surprised, bewildered and astounded. Have a look here:

Did you notice the crystal clear explanation and thesaurus at the top op iSeek?
Did you see the categorization of the results into that neat tree on the left?
But you haven't seen it all yet. By clicking on the "education" tab at the top of the iSeek search box you get an additional list, this time all from sources that are educationally sound. In this case (with a word like flabbergasted) that does not help much for us English teachers but just try typing in "heterogeneous teachng" and see what pops up!

As I said, I am speechless in all languages so here a few translations of the word "flabbergasted"

  Foreign Translations
Dutch: verstomd, versteld
French: sidéré
German: platt
Italian: sbalordito
Spanish: estupefacto, atónito, pasmado

Thank you Robert for sharing this search engine page with us.


  1. Hi Avraham,

    I was not flabbergasted but I just smiled when I saw the way you easily define "estupefacto" by showing your video. Remember, English is not my first language,so there are bunch of words that I do not know, that one is an example. I got a little bit lost on the way to use iSeek the first time but, now I understand how to find the right information I need.

    I found a video about a dictionary for kids, and this link was on the list in

    Thanks for sharing this Avraham,

    I got relaxed for while to see the monkey that my son watches on tv with the WorldGirl.

    Regards from Nicaragua,


  2. Great entry, Avraham I feel like I've been taken through a brief journey of a thought tangent, almost like a newspaper editorial, but with links and graphics.

    I also like your use of idioms, like: "blown out of the water".