Catch napping



Surprise, take unawares. This term is often used in the passive, as in The United States was really caught napping the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor . It originated in the mid-1500s as to be taken napping also see under: off guard
Historical Examples

But he was one of those wary old watch-dogs who are hard to catch napping.
The Chouans Honore de Balzac

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  • Catch off guard

    see under off guard

  • Catch one flat footed

    having flatfeet. taking or showing an uncompromising stand in a matter; firm and explicit: a flatfooted denial. clumsy or plodding; maladroit: flatfooted writing. catch one flatfooted, to catch one unprepared; surprise: The amount of the bill caught us flatfooted. adjective Unprepared; surprised •Usu in the phrase catch someone flatfooted: He just stood there flatfooted and […]



  • Flatfooted

    having flatfeet. taking or showing an uncompromising stand in a matter; firm and explicit: a flatfooted denial. clumsy or plodding; maladroit: flatfooted writing. catch one flatfooted, to catch one unprepared; surprise: The amount of the bill caught us flatfooted. Historical Examples So my dignity was shocked when I had to come down from my self-promoted […]

  • Catchpenny

    made to sell readily at a low price, regardless of value or use. something that is catchpenny. Historical Examples It is the staple commodity of your newspaper-mongers, and the catchpenny song of the streets. Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 368, June 1846 Various Wrote a tale of “’76,” which with others will make a […]



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