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

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Nov 24 21:26:55 UTC 2019

> On Nov 24, 2019, at 12:35 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
> 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. 

not actually relevant to my query, as you recognize, but still intriguing. the (quite new) OED3 "come" article doesn't seem to have "come" in the relevant sense (in particular, not in "seven come eleven"), but it's possible i'm just rotten at searching such a complex entry.

phrase origin sites have various speculations, the best of which seems to be that "seven come eleven" is a simplification of "come seven, come eleven", presumably in a sense like, 'may seven come, may eleven come' (a genuine historical subjunctive).  textual and contextual evidence lacking, alas.


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