Why does Gatsby call Nick "old sport?"
Credit: Getty Images News Getty Images Getty Images
Q:

Why does Gatsby call Nick "old sport?"

A:

Quick Answer

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," Gatsby calls Nick "old sport" as a term of endearment. The phrase also references Gatsby's manufactured affectations and his transition from poor James Gatz to rich Jay Gatsby.

  Know More

Full Answer

"Old sport" is Jay Gatsby's favorite term of endearment for his friends. Gatsby uses the term 41 separate times in F. Scott Fitzgerald's text. He calls not only Nick Carraway "old sport," but also Tom Buchanan and, it is implied, all of Gatsby's friends and acquaintances.

Gatsby uses the term "old sport" as both a term of endearment and a way to separate himself from other men. No other character in the novel uses the term — only Gatsby. It is one of his catchphrases, and it is a way to distinguish himself. It is also a deliberate affectation. This turn of phrase did not come from James Gatz's poor childhood; instead, Gatz adopted the phrase when he transitioned his identity into the wealthy, successful Jay Gatsby.

In the 2013 film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," screenwriters Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce imply that Gatsby learned the expression "old sport" from his rich benefactor Dan Cody. However, this interpretation is not in F. Scott Fitzgerald's original novel.

Learn more about Classics

Try a quiz

Q:
Where do Venus flytraps live?

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do Tom and Daisy leave in "The Great Gatsby"?

    A:

    Tom and Daisy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" leave town after Gatsby's death because of their infidelities. Tom had several affairs with women, including a chambermaid and Myrtle Wilson. Daisy was furious with her husband but continued to ignore his behavior until she reunited with Jay Gatsby, according to CliffsNotes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did Nick take care of Gatsby's funeral in the book "The Great Gatsby"?

    A:

    Nick's principal reason for attempting to arrange a large funeral for Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" is that he does not believe Gatsby should be alone. It also appears that nobody else seems concerned with handling the arrangements, or, in some cases, even attending the event. He describes his concern as needing to get somebody for the title character.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does Nick finally shake hands with Tom?

    A:

    In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby," Nick finally shakes hands with Tom when he comes to understand that Tom cannot be held responsible for his own callousness. Having already made up his mind to leave the East Coast for the Midwest, Nick understands that Tom, along with his other friends, has been corrupted by East Coast values.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Nick's Description of Tom Buchanan?

    A:

    In "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick describes Tom Buchanan as "one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterwards savors of anti-climax". Nick also mentions how Tom has "a cruel body."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore