This interjection is perhaps most commonly associated with surprise parties, where the person in whose honour the party is held is made unaware, until an opportune moment where the participants leap out and shout "surprise!"

When did such usage first appear?


Etymology: "unexpected attack" or "capture", from Middle French surprise, "taking unawares" from the noun use of Old French surprendre, "to overtake"; from sur-, "over" + prendre, "to take"; from Latin prendere, contracted from prehendere "to grasp, to seize".

  • 1
    Sorry, I'm asking for the specific use of "surprise" as an interjection, not the word itself. – congusbongus Mar 25 '14 at 6:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.