Great Scott! (dated?)

Mnemon

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Great Scott!

phrase

dated
Expressing surprise or amazement.
‘Great Scott! You scored two hundred and seventy-three!’

Lexico Dictionary


Hello there.

Lexico has labelled the phrase as dated. Do you think so? You think it fell out of use?
 

probus

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The only place I recall hearing Great Scott is in the old Superman TV series. Perry White, the character who was Clark Kent's editor, used it frequently. I consider it rather dated but according to Google Ngrams it is enjoying a resurgence after reaching a low point around 2000.

 

probus

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probus, I think you are confusing Perry White with Doctor Emmett Brown. Doc Brown, of Back to the Future fame, used the "Great Scott" expletive repeatedly in the film. "Great Scott!"
Perry White's favorite expletive was "Great Caesar's Ghost". "Great Caesar's Ghost" ;)

You are right Amigos4 about what Perry White used to say. However, I have never seen the film Back to the Future.

Nevertheless the N-Gram about "Great Scott" is valid.
 

Mnemon

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Doc Brown, of Back to the Future fame, used the "Great Scott" expletive repeatedly in the film. "Great Scott!"
Do you think the phrase has any negative connotations?
The last time I heard the phrase was in the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
I think you're getting a bit drowsy. And great Scott, no wonder. Look at the time. We've been here nearly four hours.
 

Phaedrus

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Great Scott! [. . .]

Lexico has labelled the phrase as dated. Do you think so? You think it fell out of use?

I only use "Great Scott!" when alluding to Back to the Future and only hear it when Back to the Future is being alluded to.

The history of the interjection is interesting. Apparently, "great Scott" was first used by Sir Walter Scott in a poem of his ("The Wars of Bathurst 1830"):

"Unlike great Scott, who fell at Waterloo;
We'll found our fame on S***** and his crew."


Later on, people say, it came to refer to Sir Walter Scott himself, as in this 1871 poem celebrating him on the hundredth anniversary of his birth:

"One hundred years ago! this day!
The Bard, who chose thee for his Day
Was born, and cradled in that North
Whose wild free charms he chanted forth
Great Scott!" [. . .]

"And 'midst emotion's mingling rush
Call up no thought that brings a blush,
Enthralling heart, and soul, and brain.
When shall we see thy like again?
Great Scott!" [
source]
 

Tdol

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I have read the phrase, but cannot remember hearing people use it. It's dated.
 
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