Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
late 14c., "unexpected attack or capture," from Middle French surprise "a taking unawares," from noun use of past participle of Old French surprendre "to overtake," from sur- "over" (see sur-) + prendre "to take," from Latin prendere, contracted from prehendere "to grasp, seize" (see prehensile). Meaning "something unexpected" first recorded 1590s, that of "feeling caused by something unexpected" is c.1600. Meaning "fancy dish" is attested from 1708.
A Surprize is ... a dish ... which promising little from its first appearance, when open abounds with all sorts of variety. [W. King, "Cookery," 1708]Surprise party originally was a military detachment (1841); festive sense is attested from 1858.
An exclamation of feigned astonishment over something perfectly obvious or predictable: A study conducted by university researchers a year ago found that the Family Support Act was failing to change the welfare culture. Surprise/ There were two favorite spots for tots. Surprise surprise. The boys loved the little bosom rose (1953+)