Query: Origin of "How come?"
hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Thu Dec 5 02:32:23 UTC 2002
In SE Michigan and NW Ohio there is also the variant "How's come ..."
Either this is an analogical development along Gerald's line after the
do-support take-over, or the expession is of more recent origin. I suspect
Well, I would guess it comes from "How come you to (they to, etc...)"
before do-support took over in English. (Then you don't have to
propose so much funny deletion).
I've received a query about the origin of the expression "How
come?" as in "How come nobody thought of calling home?"
I assume "How come?" arose by shortening from "How does/did it
come about that...?" Or am I missing something here?
Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
Asian & African Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
e-mail: preston at msu.edu
phone: (517) 353-9290
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