to catch someone on the hop

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - catch someone on the hop

"to catch someone on the hop"

to do something when someone is not expecting it and is not ready for it


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - catch someone on the hop

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Our biggest competitor just launched three new products which compete directly with ours and already our market share is dropping fast.

Colleague 2:  Wasn't anyone aware that our competitor was going to flood the market like this?

Colleague 1:  They must have kept their plans a complete secret because this move has caught us completely on the hop.

Colleague 2:  What are we going to do?

Colleague 1:  Being totally unprepared, there is nothing we can do right now. We need to formulate a plan.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - catch someone on the hop

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  You don't look so good. Why are your clothes all wrinkled?

Friend 2:  I had to sleep in my car last night. My wife threw me out of the house. She wants a divorce.

Friend 1:  Were you expecting this? Had you two been having problems?

Friend 2:  I was completely unaware that my wife was so unhappy. She has caught me on the hop.

to catch someone on the hop - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   24   click for frequency by country

to catch someone on the hop - Gerund Form:

Catching his boss on the hop, his manager agreed to the proposal without being prepared with excuses for denying it.

to catch someone on the hop - Examples:

1)  He said the incident caught him on the hop and he did not see it coming.

2)  The statistic thrown at the Ireland boss caught him on the hop but he made light of the fact, saying: ...

3)  ... we are just making a few silly errors... and they caught us on the hop a couple of times when they sped it up.

4)  ... release our first record, but the success of it has caught us on the hop a little bit.

5)  ... the news of her pregnancy caught them on the hop. During the past six months, the Sydney couple have scrambled to sort out ...

6)  I didn't see it, you've caught me on the hop.

7)  The only thing I can think of is that Martin caught me on the hop and took advantage of me.

8)  Still, we somehow managed to catch them on the hop and beat them inside three days.

9)  ... all about oil overnight after a big draw in US inventories caught traders on the hop and drove WTI crude $2.21% higher to $51.43 a barrel.

10)  ... rise again for the first time in years. Brexit caught everyone on the hop, as did rising commodity prices that were meant to stay low.

11)  ... which no one had ever done before. The tactics caught everyone on the hop a little bit. 

12)  "But this front came in hard and fast and caught everyone on the hop," said a weather service spokesman.

13)  The "national living wage" announcement caught many on the hop.

14)  There might be a little chance of catching them on the hop with them having a hangover after the World Cup.

15)  ... be in tune all the time and if not they'll catch you on the hop.

16)  ... to access them from our memory, the smallest distraction to catch us on the hop and -- BAM! 

17)  The call for ball-tracking catches everyone on the hop. It is a delivery that no one expected to be referred to ball-tracking.

18)  Australian law change to enable trans-Tasman moves is recent and has caught providers on the hop.

19)  It really caught people on the hop -- we weren't expecting a cut in output at all.

20)  ... their expectations. The severity of the financial crisis certainly caught economists on the hop.