A complete and unabridged list of ejaculations

by batmansion

I got the complete works of Arthur Conan Doyle as a birthday present and as I’m making my way through it I’m realizing that ACD was fond of making Dr. Watson ejaculate all over the place. Nowadays that word pretty much means one thing, but it also used to mean ‘exclaimed in surprise.’ Slang’s evolution often makes older texts seem goofy, but ACD was particularly ambiguous in the way he used this word. For example:

“Simple!” I ejaculated.

If you read that as one sentence then Watson is just happy to have figured things out; if you read it as two sentences then his deduction has had a decidedly more inappropriate effect. As I go through the complete works of Arthur Conan Doyle I will collect all of Watson’s ejaculations in one handy reference. That quote is from A Study in Scarlet. Here’s the rest:

“What on earth does this mean?” I ejaculated after I had twice read over the extraordinary announcement. Holmes chuckled and wiggled in his chair, as was his habit when in high spirits. [The Red-Headed League]

“It was a confession,” I ejaculated. [The Boscome Valley Mystery]

In the dim light of the lamp I saw him sitting there, an old briar pipe between his lips, his eyes fixed vacantly upon the corner of the ceiling, the blue smoke curling up from him, silent, motionless, with the light shining upon his strong-set aquiline features. So he sat as I dropped off to sleep, and so he sat when a sudden ejaculation caused me to wake up, and I found the summer sun shining into the apartment. [The Man With the Twisted Lip]

“Not the Countess of Morcar’s blue carbuncle!” I ejaculated. [The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle]

“What on earth has that to do with it?” I ejaculated. [The Adventure of the Copper Beeches]

“What can he want?” I ejaculated, as a man stepped out of it. [The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez]

And here it is that I miss my Watson. By cunning questions and ejaculations of wonder he could elevate my simple art, which is but systematized common sense, into a prodigy. [The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier]

“What! With that!” I ejaculated. [The Valley of Fear]

Sherlock also ejaculates a couple of times:

Holmes gave an ejaculation of impatience. [The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez]

As Holmes turned up the lamp the light fell upon a card on the table. He glanced at it, and then, with an ejaculation of disgust, threw it upon the floor. [The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton]

In the bedroom he made a rapid cast around and ended by throwing open the window, which appeared to give him some fresh cause for excitement, for he leaned out of it with loud ejaculations of interest and delight. [The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot]

The ejaculation had been drawn from my companion by the fact that our door had been suddenly dashed open, and that a huge man had framed himself in the aperture. [The Speckled Band]

Finally, he sprang down with an ejaculation of satisfaction. [The Adventure of the Abbey Grange]

Other interesting facts about Sherlock Holmes:

Sherlock did a lot of cocaine when he was bored.

One time, having been hired to deal with a blackmailer, he broke into the guy’s house, burgled his safe, then hid and watched as someone else came in, murdered the blackmailer, and left, and then Sherlock destroyed all the blackmail and murder evidence.

Sometimes, when he was investigating a case or just thinking about something, Sherlock Holmes would shoot pistols at his wall. Like, over and over again, dozens of times.

After retiring, Sherlock Holmes becomes a beekeeper.

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