“Elementary, My Dear Watson!”

   Probably the most famous of Sherlock Holmes quotes, “Elementary, my dear Watson,” was never spoken by Sherlock Holmes.  That is to say that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote those exact words for his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.  However, Sherlock Holmes does say the words “elementary” and “my dear Watson” quite often. Below are a just few examples.

   In the short story, The Crooked Man, we find this exchange between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson:

‘I have the advantage of knowing your habits,my dear Watson,’ said he. ‘When your round is a short one you walk, and when it is a long one you use a hansom.  As I perceive that your boots, although used, are by no means dirty, I cannot doubt that you are at present busy enough to justify a hansom.’

‘Excellent!’, I cried.

Elementary,’ said he. ‘It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbor, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction.’

“My Dear Watson”

‘You know my powers, my dear Watson, and yet at the end of three months I was forced to confess that I had at last met an antagonist who was my intellectual equal.’

Sherlock Holmes Quote

-The Final Problem