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Great Scott

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 29, 2005

In Reply to: Great Scott posted by James Briggs on July 29, 2005

: : : : Where did the saying "Great Scott" come from?

: : : I wouldn't call it a saying. The OED defines it thus: "[Great] In exclamations, as Great Cæsar, Scott, Sun!, meaningless euphemisms for Great God! [Citation:] 1885 'F. ANSTEY' Tinted Venus 60 Great Scott! I must be bad!" SS

: : Minced oath. (Only linguistic term I know and it has served me well.)

: Sources I have suggest that the Scott here is probably the US general Winfield-Scott (1786-1866) who was popular after his victorious campaign against the Mexicans in 1847.

Great Caesar! Was Winfield Scott actually that popular? For that matter, was the Mexican War that popular? (Oh God, please don't say Yes!) SS

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