Where Did the Phrase “You Are a Gentleman and a Scholar” Come From?

You are a gentleman and a scholar most likely has its roots in 18th-century England. Scholarly pursuits and noble demeanour were valued during this time as key traits in men.

This phrase gained notoriety in the contemporary era when it was used in “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. This is what the main character Holden tells Ackley, his roommate. I gave him a goddamn shoulder pat while I was still seated on the floor. I told the Ackley kid, “You’re a prince.” “You realise that? Really, you are a prince. You’re a scholar and a gentleman, young man.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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