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I am looking for a word that combines happiness and bewilderment.

Say, A and B are long forgotten friends. After a long time B sends A very very good news. A is looking for a short message, a word that expresses his happiness and bewilderment in response to the news.

What would be the word combining these two — happiness and bewilderment?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's not one word, but the common expression pleasantly surprised comes to mind.

You might also consider astonished, although I think that connotes amazement rather than happiness. It's still a positive word, though. Thrilled is probably even better.

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Astonish is a positive word? Going unexpectedly into the parlour of their house one day, Mrs Webster discovered her husband embracing their maid. "Noah, I am surprised!" she exclaimed. Webster released the maid and re-assumed his professional dignity. "No, my dear," he corrected his wife, "it is I who am surprised; you are merely astonished." I find it unlikely that Mr Webster held his interruption in positive regard. :) – tchrist May 24 '12 at 13:19
How about "thrilled" -- this seems to suggest both happiness and bewilderment, and is a little more intense than "pleasantly surprised." – JAM May 24 '12 at 14:08
@tchrist: fair enough; your point is well-taken, scandalous as it may be! My dictionary, under synonyms for surprise, mentions that to astonish is "to strike with wonder by something unlooked for," so I suppose one could be astonished by a suprise visit, pleasant or unpleasant. But some added context from the O.P. would help – just what IS this "very very good news"? Are we talking about an impending last-minute visit, the announcement of an unplanned pregnancy, or a promising investment opportunity from a wealthy man in Nigeria? – J.R. May 24 '12 at 14:28
@JAM: I agree; I think "thrilled" is a much better word than "astonished". I'll add it to my answer, but I won't restructure my original answer too much, as tchrist's comment is simply too good for me to ruin the set-up. – J.R. May 24 '12 at 14:31
Thrilled, bit cliche, but sounds right. – iamcreasy May 24 '12 at 21:44

Friend A could reply, "I am....:

Flabbergasted — overcome with astonishment; amazed; astounded

Thunderstruck — affected with sudden astonishment or amazement

Gobsmacked — utterly astounded (British slang)

Floored — stunned; overwhelmed: The very idea floored me.

I think gobsmacked, even though I am in the U.S., is my favorite.

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I'm very fond of "gobsmacked" and first thought to suggest it myself. but it seems to have the same flexible connotation as "astonished." – Bill Lefurgy May 24 '12 at 19:12
@Bill Lefurgy, But it's such a fun word, that I think it is also carries a happier connotation. – JLG May 24 '12 at 19:54

Agog might fit the bill. Thesaurus.com shows it as a synonym for bewildered, ardent, eager, enthusiastic and breathless.

It’s used in the manner you seek in several examples. In From This Far Distant Shore, Richard Curtin wrote “Transfixed by a prism of changing colors he gawks at the hypnotic pulse of alternating light. Agog in pleasant bewilderment he follows the image waltzing to the tingling crystal spheres.” In Promises I Made My Mother, Sam Haskell wrote “My father stood there agog, not quite believing his eyes, but happy for me.” I will admit that the term can also sometimes be used in the same way as amazed – unpleasantly shocked – but Common Phrases: And Where They Come From likens “all agog” to “Somebody eager, perhaps even ‘starry-eyed’ over a happy event.” The term seems variously used as simply “agog” or amplified as “all agog.”

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astounded archaic : overwhelmed with astonishment or amazement


floor b : flabbergast, dumbfound

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