to be unprepared;
to be surprised
Related words and phrases:
Two friends are talking ...
Friend 1: Did you see our favorite politician being interviewed on the news last night?
Friend 2: She seemed to be in trouble. She seemed completely unprepared to answer the reporter's questions.
Friend 1: I'm afraid the reporter caught her flat-footed.
A referee is talking to the coaches of two soccer teams ...
Referee: This is the only official ball I have. We are going to have to cancel the match or at least postpone it until I can send for another ball.
Coach 1: You've got to be kidding!
Coach 2: Seriously? Are you that unprepared?
Referee: It's terrible, I know, but here I am flat-footed.
There is no gerund form for flat-footed.
1) ... be audited. But with at least 434,000 Canadians investigated every year many are left flat-footed when the inquiry letter arrives. Make sure you're prepared by following these easy ...
2) We find the majority of our clients and their adult kids are caught flat-footed or unprepared when an event occurs.
3) We'd rather have our defense be in the play than get caught flat-footed.
4) Just as in Kenya and Malaya, the security forces were caught flat-footed by the outbreak of the insurgency.
5) He didn't get caught flat-footed, he kept up with game play, and he played hard.
6) Those who lose that fire in the belly are often the ones who get caught flat-footed when something major happens.
7) ... often lags behind the real needs of employers. Students and Academia are often caught flat-footed with what skills they should concentrate on to best succeed in the knowledge economy.
8) Rather than being prepared for the inevitable disclosure of the cases, he was caught flat-footed, claiming at first not to remember what had happened and then dribbling out details ...
9) In both cases Obama was caught flat-footed because he was unprepared to deal with the possibility that everyone doesn't buy into ...
10) When bad things happen people suffer. Will you be caught flat-footed? Do you think FEMA or the Red Cross are going to save you?
11) Caught flat-footed by the student uprising, the unions desperately tried to jump on the bandwagon by ...
12) ... there is no excuse for being caught flat-footed or misinterpreting current trends.
13) A humanitarian disaster strikes. The Kremlin is caught flat-footed. Relief efforts founder. Weaknesses in infrastructure, inspection procedures, and oversight are ...
14) The president should not have been caught flat-footed like this, and it should not happen ever again.
15) ... determined to use the rules for their own benefit, the state parties were caught flat-footed. They relied upon often convoluted and controversial interpretations of their own rules.
16) She did seem really surprised and flat-footed.
17) ... saw any of these upheavals coming. Virtually all of them were caught flat-footed.
18) The White House has been caught flat-footed as well. Obama declined to embrace a big deficit deal on his own when ...
19) They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat-footed by Apple.
20) It showed that the public prosecutors were remarkably flat-footed and inept in doing anything about it.