"no little surprise" would mean no surprise or great surprise?

Would you kindly tell me the meaning of “no little surprise”?
This is the situation:
The news of her marriage caused us no little surprise
A. We were not surprised when she married.
B. We knew she had married but were still surprised.
C. Her marriage did surprise us a little.
D. We were greatly surprised when we heard she had married. Thank you very much in advance

A. We were not surprised when she married.

I don’t think so.
No little means “considerable”, as in he ate his breakfast with no little appetite = he gobbled it up.

I think it’s D : we were greatdy surprised.


I agree that (D) is the best answer. It’s an example of understatement similar to: It was no easy task = It was a difficult task.


What does “it came as no surprise” mean?


It means exactly what it says: It was not surprising.

In the test sentence above it is the use of ‘no little’ that is the understatement.


So we could say it means, The news of her marriage caused us a big surprise, could we?

No, I can only repeat:


I agree with Alex! :smiley:

Oops.I missed Alan’s post :oops:

Why the use of “no little” if it wasn’t a big surprise?

Is this not referring to a lot of effort?

We did the job with no little effort.

The thread seems to be drifting between “It came as no surprise” and “It came as no little surprise.”

The first means it was not surprising.
The second means it was a big surprise.

Yes, I thought so.

With no little effort we reached the summit by nightfall.

That means it was a big/considerable effort to reach the summit by nightfall, IMO.

Yes, thank you all. So the correct answer is D