Submitted by cole • November 19, 2004
I read this in an article,
“Tape all your screws to your air conditioner, so you’ll have them ready come next season.”
How do you suppose that usage of the word “come” came about? I’ve heard it, but I don’t hear it often.
November 21, 2004, 8:19am
Cole, I think this usage is related to the specific meaning of "come" as "happen." The word is used in much the same way in the following examples:
When what we want to happen finally does happen, we say our wish has "come true."
Also, in churning cream by hand, we say that the butter "comes" when the cream begins to separate and the specks of butter begin to appear in the buttermilk.
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November 21, 2004, 8:24am
That is, "...you'll have them ready when the next [cooling] season comes [or happens]."
It's sort of a cop-out to just call the usage "idiomatic," but that seems to be the best that some dictionaries can do in this case.
November 22, 2004, 11:17am
Hmmm. Fascinating. It does sound awkward though, doesn't it?
Billy Bard (unregistered)
November 27, 2004, 12:25am
It's colloquial. You can hear similar phrases by watching "New Yankee Workshop" on PBS, no joke.
Check out regional sayings in the U.S.
American Heritage Dictionary is great for etymology.
In the South, for instance, a common term is "I'm fixing to do something." Or if you're a native, it'd be pronounced "fixin' to"
December 6, 2004, 11:50am
"Fixin' to" is one of my favorite expressions. Billy Bard didn't say, but it means "getting ready to do" or "getting around to doing." For example:
"Honey, it's Saturday afternoon and you're just sitting there watching football. When are you going to change the oil in my car?""I'm fixin' to, just as soon as I finish my beer."
"I'm fixin' to go to McDonalds in a minute. Do you gals want a salad or anything?"
"I'm fixin' to take the kitten to the vet. Don't leave the house--your brother said he was fixin' to come over to help us hang the Christmas lights."
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