What is the real definition of sport? 1 : physical activity (as running or an athletic game) engaged in for pleasure or exercise Skating is my favorite sport. 2 : a person who shows good sportsmanship He’s a sport and doesn’t mind losing. Don’t be a bad sport. 3 : pastime, recreation.
What does old sport mean in Gatsby? Gatsby calls Nick an “old sport,” which implies that he wishes to follow a lifestyle of “old money,” and attain characteristics of a rich man. The repeated use of “old sport” throughout the story also describes Gatsby’s myopic and self-centered demeanor.
Where did the term old sport come from? “Old sport” is not a mere term of address. It was originally an “early twentieth-century British upper-class slang term” (Randall III 191) and a sophisticated phrase used among students at Oxford in those days. Jay Gatsby, however, is neither an alumnus of Oxford nor a member of the upper class.
Where did Gatsby get the phrase old sport? It seems to come from the same cheap dime novels in which Gatsby has read of great game hunting, which he thinks can be done in European cities. Tom, for example, a genuine example of old money, sees through the phrase as an affectation and says sharply to Gatsby: All this “old sport” business.