- “Great Scott!” is an interjection of surprise, wonder, or consternation.
- The term “Great Scott!” is used to express surprise or amazement. The surprise can be positive, negative, or even neutral.
Examples in Sentences
- She took one look at the screen before crying out “Great Scott!” in celebration.
- “Great Scott!” he shouted as he bumped into the table corner.
- They later co-starred in the entire trilogy of Back to the Future films, which made us all say, “Great Scott!”
- Scientists have discovered water on Mars. “Great Scott!”
Most people believe “Great Scott!” started as a minced oath. For those curious, a minced oath is an objectionable phrase changed to make it less objectionable. In this case, the “Scott” in “Great Scott” replaced “God” in the original “Great God!” However, some people think “Great Scott!” might be a corruption of the German phrase “Grüß Gott,” which means “God bless.”
Later, “Great Scott!” became connected to a couple of individuals named Scott. First, there was Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish writer who made his name because of works such as Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, and The Lady of the Lake. Second, there was Winfield Scott, the Commanding General of the US Army from 1841 to 1861. The people who called the second individual “Great Scott!” might have been rather irreverent, seeing as how he became so fat in his old age that he could no longer ride a horse.
“Great Scott” is old and outdated nowadays. That is because its height of popularity was from the second half of the 19th century to the early 20th century.