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I love to use the word "flabbergasted" when writing, but I realize I cannot really use it when it's an American talking, as the word is primarily used by British people. I know there's words like "shocked" and "surprised", but I want something with more flavor. The sentence I intend to use it in is; "The taxi driver seemed flabbergasted when I refused to tip him". Any American-english words with the same definition and flavor as that word is desired.

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    As an American, I'm flabbergasted to hear that the word isn't used in American English. Do you have a source for that? – danch Mar 2 '18 at 19:20
  • Well, I did say primarily used by British people. But since you, an American, say you're flabbergasted by me saying so, I guess it is also used a lot by Americans. If so, I apologize for my ignorance. – A. Kvåle Mar 2 '18 at 19:22
  • Flabbergasted is perhaps less common in AmE (though it’s not particularly common in BrE either), but it’s perfectly understandable, and there’s no reason for you not to use it just because the setting in American. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 2 '18 at 19:24
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    'Gobsmacked', as suggested by @WeatherVane, is a good synonym for 'flabbergasted', but is very BrE and not very AmE. – Mitch Mar 2 '18 at 19:55
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    @JanusBahsJacquet: I probably hear it about as often as I hear "enormous" ;) – Lightness Races in Orbit Mar 3 '18 at 13:39
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I cannot really use it when it's an American talking, as the word is primarily used by British people.

Are you sure about this? I just ran a quick search and this is what I found:

The evidence indicates that American English uses the word more often than British English. Furthermore, if you look it up in pretty much any dictionary, it is not marked "chiefly British".

As an American, I can tell you that I would use "flabbergasted" and I do know what it means.


So, my answer is that the word you are indeed looking for is flabbergasted.

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I do believe "dumbfounded" would be more suitable to that sentence than flabbergasted.

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    Welcome to English Language & Usage. Your answer would be much better if you cited a reference for "dumbfounded". – J. Taylor Mar 2 '18 at 19:32
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    I am rather flabbergasted (though not quite dumbfounded) to find that Ngram rates "dumbfounded" higher than "flabbergasted" in both US and British English. – Hot Licks Mar 2 '18 at 19:59
  • .. but usage of both has dropped significantly in BrE. I have to wonder if this is due to a massive change in the type of material being published, though. – Will Crawford Mar 3 '18 at 0:36
  • citation – Will Crawford Mar 3 '18 at 4:57

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