Minnesota "come with"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 27 22:56:54 UTC 2006

You're right, arnold. We have had this discussion before. My own
contribution was to note the use of "come with," etc. in Northern
California, but only among friends whose parents had migrated to
Sacramento from the Greater Minneapolis area. They made a big deal out
of using it as a cool way of speaking, but I found it annoying. My
wife, a native of Pennsylvania, occasionally uses it. I still find it
annoying, but I haven't mentioned that to her. That's a sleeping dog
that I choose to let lie. :-)


> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Minnesota "come with"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Jun 27, 2006, at 8:26 AM, Barbara Need wrote:
> >> John, I assume you mean "come with"/"go with" in which
> >> no "object" follows "with"?
> >>
> >> I discuss the locution (which I identify as a Chicago
> >> phenomenon) and some (possibly) parallel constructions very
> >> briefly in American Speech 72 (1997): 224.  Nothing
> >> definitive, though.
> >>
> >> --Charlie
> >
> > Also used in Milwaukee. I was told it was from German.
> surely we've had this discussion before.  as i recall, "come
> with" (without object) appears in a variety of areas where speakers
> of germanic languages were once concentrated: german dialects,
> scandinavian languages, and yiddish, in particular.  so it's a
> substratum feature, noticeable in descendants of speakers of the
> original languages who don't themselves speak those languages *and*
> in many others who picked it up from those descendants, as part of
> the "local dialect".  (i also recall that "go with" is sometimes said
> to be more restricted than "come with".)
> the result is a very odd pattern of geographical distribution, made
> even more complex by the fact that just because a substratum feature
> survives in one place doesn't mean it's going to survive everywhere;
> some descendants of speakers of germanic languages don't have the
> feature.  it certainly wasn't prevalent in the pennsylvania dutch
> english around me in my childhood; i first noticed it in the speech
> of jewish friends from the new york area.  (it might be that people
> around me with very heavily pa.-dutch-influenced english used "come
> mit", but i don't recall the fully anglicized "come with".)
> this causes me to wonder about the distribution of the question-tag
> particle "ain't?" (and its emphatic variant "ai not?" -- both usually
> with high rising intonation), as in
>    You're goin' now, aint?/ai not?
> this was a very noticeable feature of pa. dutch english in my
> childhood, though already being stigmatized as rural -- a "dumb
> dutch" feature.  (to be fully authentic, "now" should be pronounced
> [na:].)
> arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu
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