[Ads-l] come = minutes before (the hour of ...)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 24 20:35:51 UTC 2019

I wonder if this bears any relation to another "n come m" expression I'm
more familiar with, without knowing exactly what it means, as used in the
context of craps, the dice game. I have an image of a gambler blowing on
his fist in which the two dice are concealing and shaking vigorously, with
the incantation "7 come 11".  Here's wikipedia on craps--
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craps#Come_bet--although I can't say I find
it really helps. There's also betting on the come in poker (i.e. on the
expectation that one will obtain cards that will improve one's hand, rather
than on the hand one already has), but that doesn't seem relevant.

On Sun, Nov 24, 2019 at 2:40 PM Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu>

> > On Nov 23, 2019, at 9:19 PM, Mark Mandel <markamandel at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Heard on WRTI, a public radio station out of Temple University here in
> > Philadelphia:
> >
> > "twenty-one come nine" (8:39pm)
> cool  fact. this is an extension of the existing use of "come" as a time
> preposition (historically from an old subjunctive, apparently), as in this
> NOAD entry:
> ...
> prep. come: _informal_ when a specified time is reached or event happens:
> "I don't think that they'll be far away from honors come the new season."
> ...
> the semantics here is of time at which, but in Mark's ex. it's time before
> which -- a use of "come" in numerical time expressions, as an alternative
> to before /  till / to / (AmE) of.  there's a story to be told there.
> meanwhile, "come" in such expressions is remarkably hard to search for,
> though more examples *in context* would be highly desirable. anyone have
> some?
> NOTE: the template is a single TimeLocationExpression of the form
>     TimeMeasureExpression COME TimeLocationExpression
> it's obviously extendable to things like "a quarter before/come noon" and,
> presumably to things like "two days before/come Christmas in "it happened
> two days before/come Christmas".
> (something like "two weeks come/on Tuesday/Christmas" in "it will be two
> weeks come/on Tuesday/Christmas" -- easily attested, with exx. in the OED
> -- is beside the point; this is two time adverbials in sequence, not a
> single time adverbial with two constituents.)
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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