One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a party of brigands caught them unawares’
by surprise, unexpectedly, without warning, suddenly, abruptly, unprepared, off-guard, cold
red-handed, in the act, in flagrante delicto
informal with one's pants down, with one's trousers down, napping, in flagrante
British informal on the hop
2‘a shoal of young roach approached the pike unawares’
unknowingly, unwittingly, unconsciously, without noticing, in all innocence
unintentionally, inadvertently, accidentally, by accident, by mistake, mistakenly
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