Do you know what the word nonplussed means?

Poll coming. Edit: maybe not I can’t remember how to attach a poll.:smack:

I am asking because I thought the word had a totally different definition from it’s actual one until my mid 20s when I was corrected in a rather embarrassing way in a professional context. Yet I feel like this is one of those cases where society let me down because I frequently see my incorrect understanding of the meaning of the word being used.

So, I am wondering how common this is.

Be honest, no one will judge you here…much. :wink:

So does nonplussed mean

1)to be unconcerned
2) to be confused.

I’ve thought it meant “unimpressed.”

I would say it had a similar meaning to flabbergasted - kind of like shocked.

I’d for for 1 - unconcerned.

For a long time I thought it meant unimpressed but then I learned it meant bewildered or surprised. Maybe I was confusing it with nonchalant?

“MY” definition of the word was always “unconcerned”

When you found out, would you say you were nonplussed?



I thought it meant underwhelmed or unaffected. I was wrong.

Clearly, it means subtracted. :wink:

I am nonplussed that apparently I’ve been mistaken for all the years.

Well maybe not entirely wrong:

From Wikitionary:

Usage notes

In recent North American English nonplussed has come to mean “unimpressed”.[1] In 1999, this was considered a neologism, ostensibly from “not plussed”, although “plussed” by itself is not a recognized English word. The “unimpressed” meaning is not considered standard usage by at least one authoritative source.[2]

Plussed = Addition
Nonplussed = Subtraction

I have always heard it as similar to “disconcerted”, with a surprise element.

Yes, this, but milder than “flabbergasted” or “shocked”. More like “momentarily* flabbergasted”.
*But “momentarily” is another word many people misunderstand. I am using it in what I think is the better established use, “for a moment”, rather than “in a moment.”
I predict,however, that the descriptivist stormtroopers will soon be in this thread to tell us all that it means whatever people want it to mean.

I thought it meant confused

I thought that it meant something like unconcerned or unfazed. I’ve only ever seen it in writing though. I’ve never heard it spoken nor have I ever used it in any form.

I think that’s what gets people: both words are of Latin origin, and “by analogy,” people perhaps perceive them as indicating the same thing.

It’s the opposite of plussed.

I know what it means, but I always have to remind myself. The incorrect usage just* feels* right. I think I might be imagining a chicken that has yet to be plucked and is, therefore, undisturbed. I don’t know.

Being caught flat footed, in a mental context. At least that’s how I always thought of it.

This is how I used it just this morning in another thread. If I used it wrong, I’m unconcerned.