Posted by John on August 11, 2003
In Reply to: "Sat a gee" posted by R. Berg on August 06, 2003
: : Does anyone know the origin of this phrase? It was used by W.S.Gilbert in the Major General's song in Pirates of Penzance.
: I believe it was simply a nonsense phrase that Gilbert made up for a far-fetched rhyme with "strategy."
I think both of the above are true. When performing this number, the Major General often pauses trying to think of something that rhymes with "strategy", and comes up with "sat a gee". I've also seen several productions where, later in a reprise of the song, he says "never rode a horse" instead of "never sat a gee".