Great Scott!

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 19 19:19:24 UTC 2002

On Mon, 18 Nov 2002, Michael Quinion wrote:

> A subscriber has asked me about this rather dated interjection. The
> assumption I've seen made is that it refers to Sir Walter Scott, or
> to some archetypal Scotsman. The OED has 1885. I can antedate this
> using MoA, but the real interest for me is in the associations:

The following citation from ProQuest Historical Newspapers seems to
supply at least a little evidence in support of the Winfield Scott theory:

1861 _N.Y. Times_ 22 May 4  These gathering hosts of loyal freemen, under
the command of the great SCOTT.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

More information about the Ads-l mailing list