[Ads-l] Origin of exclamation Great Scott discussed at Slate

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 21 16:50:43 UTC 2015

While reading about "Great Scott" I came across another fun citation
in OED. Mark Twain used Great-Scott as a verb.

[Begin excerpt]
colloq. Somewhat rare.
  trans. and intr. To exclaim 'Great Scott!' (at), express great surprise (at).

1902   Gleanings Bee Culture 1 Apr. 276/1   He 'Great Scotts' the idea
of greater uniformity, with yields varying from 54 to 317.

1902   'M. Twain' in Harper's Weekly 6 Dec. 9/1   'Ger-reat Scott!'
ejaculated the Major... The secretary said, wonderingly: 'Why, what
are you Great-Scotting about, Major?'
[End excerpt]


On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 12:32 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Origin of exclamation Great Scott discussed at Slate
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Today Forrest Wickman at Slate thoughtfully explored the origin of the
> exclamation "Great Scott". Jesse Sheidlower, Michael Quinion, Fred
> Shapiro, and Garson O'Toole and others were mentioned /
> acknowledged.The character Doc Brown used the expression in the movie
> series "Back to the Future".

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list