great Scott

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncertain or disputed. May come from Gen. Winfield Scott of the American Civil War, who weighed about 300 pounds and was referred to by his troops as "Great Scott".[1] Alternately, perhaps a euphemism for great Satan or good God.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Interjection[edit]

great Scott

  1. (dated) An exclamation of surprise or amazement
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Red-Headed League
      “It's all clear,” he whispered. “Have you the chisel and the bags? Great Scott! Jump, Archie, jump, and I'll swing for it!”
      Sherlock Holmes had sprung out and seized the intruder by the collar. The other dived down the hole, and I heard the sound of rending cloth as Jones clutched at his skirts.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Great Scott” in Michael Quinion, Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds: Ingenious Tales of Words and Their Origins, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with Penguin Books, 2004, →ISBN.
  2. ^ Jonathon Green (2019), “great!”, in Green’s Dictionary of Slang[1]