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Is there one word for “happily surprised”?

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Serendipity could be a good word –  William Macdonald Feb 13 at 13:03

6 Answers 6

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Consider thrilled (suddenly excited, given great pleasure), elated (made happy and excited; delighted; pleased), overjoyed (given great joy, delight or pleasure).

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I wonder whether these properly convey the element of surprise that OP intends. I understand that thrill does cover sudden excitement but when I use the phrase happily surprised I intend to say that I was not expecting to be happy about something. I was happily surprised to find that my team made the delivery on time. I agree that your suggestions drop right in to my example sentence, but it loses the element of surprise, and so, I think, changes the meaning slightly. –  Jim Aug 2 '12 at 20:13
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I agree, but in my shock, dismay, hurt and amazement at finding amazed already accepted as the answer, collapsed and was unable to spell out any finer points like that. –  jwpat7 Aug 2 '12 at 20:15

Although often used (and sometimes abused), amazed fulfils the need quite well. Its literal meaning is 'astonishment, wonder.'

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I'm amazed how quickly this answer was accepted! Definitely not a happy surprise, either. –  jwpat7 Aug 2 '12 at 19:28
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@jwpat7 I'm unhappily surprised at your comments, amazed even (in the abused sense). Hope I can please more on another occasion! –  Tony Balmforth Aug 2 '12 at 20:34
    
Ok. "Unaccepted" for now. Let's see what the other answers are. –  CodeBlue Aug 2 '12 at 21:43

Ken Dodd has the catchphrase “How tickled I am,” but has never been accused of using a formal register.

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I'd go with something like wonderment:

2: astonishment, surprise

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I would suggest gobsmacked. It enjoys more use in the U.K. than in the U.S., but may suit.

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Being in the U.S., I'm largely unfamiliar with gobsmacked. After a bit of preliminary research, it seems like the word can be used to describe happy surpise, but it can also be used to describe being astonished after being blindsided by some unwelcome news. Is that true? –  J.R. Aug 2 '12 at 21:54
    
U.S. based, I will look to our British colleagues to comment. –  bib Aug 2 '12 at 22:32
    
In the US I've seen it a lot in videos and books, always with a sense like flabbergasted. The meaning shown in wiktionary is "To astonish". From etymonline, gobsmack is "U.K. slang, from gob “mouth” + p.p. of smack", before 1990, so essentially "a smack (sharp blow; a slap) in the mouth". –  jwpat7 Aug 3 '12 at 4:56
    
The general UK view of 'gobsmacked' is that it is an unattractive word to be avoided, the language of fake tans and minimum vocabulary. –  Tony Balmforth Aug 3 '12 at 8:06

Awestruck or amazed — the closest to what you want.

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protected by RegDwigнt Feb 13 at 12:30

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