Gordon Bennett

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For James Gordon Bennett, Jr., a New York newspaper proprietor and playboy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who became widely known for his extravagant lifestyle and shocking behaviour.[1] The first time the expression appears in print was in 1937, in James Curtis's novel, You’re in the Racket, Too.[2] The Oxford English Dictionary places the phrase in the 1890s as an alliteration of gorblimey and again to James Gordon Bennett Jr.[3]

The interjection is likely a minced oath, standing in for an exclamation such as God or (according to some sources) God and Saint Bennet, or even "God damn it".

The phrase fell out of use for some time, but saw a resurgence in the United Kingdom in the latter part of the twentieth century, perhaps as a result of its use by Derek "Del Boy" Trotter in the popular British sitcom Only Fools and Horses during the 1980s. It was used by Alf Garnett extensively in the TV sitcom "Till Death Us Do Part" filmed from 1965-1975.


Gordon Bennett

  1. (Britain) expression of surprise, contempt, outrage, disgust, frustration.