Flummoxed or Flabbergasted?

Hey peoples!


Hope life is treating you well. As for me, except for my #Book5 prospects trudging along things are good! You know, writing is a wonderful thing. As writers, we are “painting” our canvas of the page with our words. More often that not, it’s how you say things that trumps what exactly is being said. I guess that’s half the fun of being a (forgive me) a “wordsmith.”

I came across a bit of quandary when i was writing a recent passage of my book that I thought I would share with you. One of my characters had something revealed to him that (for lack of a better phrase) “rocked his world.” He couldn’t believe it but also wasn’t sure why this was happening.

You see where I’m going with this.

I was put into a writer’s crossroads when I wanted to use either Flummoxed or Flabbergasted. Trust me, these words do sound a bit precocious out of context, but I feel it fit the character. Anywho, I actually stopped to weigh the merits of using one word over the other. (This also proves how susceptible I am to writer’s block) I consulted the dictionary.


Flummox (vt) : Confused

Flabbergasted (vt): To overwhelm with shock, surprise, or wonder (Merriam-Webster)

Not this guy. Ten points if you get the reference
Not this guy. Ten points if you get the reference

Truthfully my character was mixture of both, (but even I knew using both words would just be purple prose). I eventually settled with flummoxed, but the word exercise was a fun diversion. It’s funny how many words in English (we don’t use, and) say differing levels of similar concepts. Now, please do NOT use these two words interchangeably. You will come across an English major that will scold you until there’s no tomorrow. What I do suggest is to find some different ways and words to express emotions and other abstract concepts. Who knows, you might find a word you like.


Let me tell you about how I loooooove the word persnickety.




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