come the... v.
in a wide variety of combs. this means to act, to pose as, to attempt to be; it is always constrained by a n., e.g. come the artful, come the paddy etc. The word ‘old’ is often inserted between the phr. and the defining n., e.g. come the old soldier; see combs. below and at relevant n.
|Tony Lumpkin in Town (1780) 29: If you come the gentleman usher [...] you’ll absolutely knock your head against my fistis [sic].|
|View of Society II 166: The Fawney Rig. A Ring Dropper: a fellow who has gotten a woman’s pocket, with a pair of scissors, some thread, a thimble, and a housewife with a ring in it, which he drops for some credulous person to pick up. [...] He then comes the stale story of ‘If you will give me eight or nine shillings for my share, you shall have the whole.’ If you accede to this and swallow his bait, you have the ring and pocket, worth about sixpence.|
|Life in the West I 284: Your toggery is better, and you can come the lingo so well’.|
|New South Wales II 264: One of these was endued with the natural gift of ‘coming the piteous’ (to use their own slang).|
|Pickwick Papers (1999) 589: Hear him come the four cats in the wheelbarrow – four distinct cats; sir, I pledge you my honour. Now you know that’s infernal clever.|
|Land Sharks and Sea Gulls II 104: But mind ye one thing — don’t attempt to come the rig without we [sic].|
|Crim.-Con. Gaz. 14 Dec. 303/1: You need not come the bounce too much without a feather to fly with.|
|Flash (NY) 3 Oct. n.p.: A woman is charged with ‘coming the Sultan’ [...] having sundry husbands at the same time.|
|Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. I 49: I’ve caught him, Julia! I came the sentimental over him.|
|Newcomes II 253: Newcome is trying to come the religious dodge, as Mr. Potts calls it.|
|Trail of the Serpent 23: Don’t he come the hinnocent dodge, stunnin?|
|Artemus Ward, His Book 18: We must fetch the public sumhow. We must wurk on their feelins. Cum the moral on ’em strong.|
|Golden Age (Queenbeyan, NSW) 28 Aug. 3/3: Troller could come the baker first-rate.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 167: Just try to come the hanky-panky and play the old soldier with him and there was no man in Dartmoor Prison more up to every move than the old Marine.|
|Picked Up in the Streets 230: Once I heard her comin’ the religious dodge over two old ladies she’d cornered in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.|
|Dundee Courier (Scot.) 14 July 7/2: If i could have procured a morself of soap I would have ‘come the epileptic dodge’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Aug. 9/1: Oh, she could come the gay Pauline / Till wrecked by fortune’s rudder; / And as ‘the lady’ in ‘Macbeth’ / She’d make a dead man shudder!|
|Classic Australian Short Stories (1997) 22: You’re not a bad sort, I can see; but don’t come the blooming innercent!‘Parson’s Blackboy’ in Murdoch & Drake-Brockman|
|Traffics and Discoveries 60: That’s where ’e’s comin’ the bloomin’ onjenew. ’E knows a lot, reely.‘Bonds of Discipline’ in|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 11 Nov. 1/1: A loud-mouthed bookmaker threatens to maroon him on the Orizaba if he ‘comes his comics’.|
|Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 80: The detective was coming the innocent dodge, and his little lead off was most excellent, and displayed great quickness and readiness of thought.|
|City Of The World 271: Another wheeze is to come the sweet young thing in muslin.|
|Timber Wolves 43: See here, Mister, you can’t come the bluff on me like that.|
|Dames Don’t Care (1960) 104: Which is what Mexicans is always doin’ when they ain’t tryin’ to come the neat stuff with a dame.|
|Foveaux 48: If you think you can come the Holy Willie over me, Jock, just because I come in to have a drink with a friend of my girl friend’s, while he waits for her to get off, you can . . .|
|Joyful Condemned 226: He did not like, as he put it, for anyone ‘to come the bounce over him’.|
|Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: Eight-double-seven Private Bamforth to you, Corporal Macleish. You want to come the regimental, boy, we’ll have it proper.|
|Hollow Woodheap 149: ‘Is she sick?’ ‘No, but you will be if Doug comes the knuckle.’.|
|Buttons 132: She started coming this crush where she was the film director’s wife.|
|Lowspeak 29: Boracic – a tall story, as in ‘Don’t come the boracic with me’.|
|Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] Jack [...] don’t come the lawyer with me.|
|Out of Bounds (2017) 279: ‘Don’t come the cowboy with me, son’.|
see also under relevant n. or adj.
(Aus.) to be full of opinions and predictions, after the event.
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 47: COMING THE AFTERGAME: sporting slang: – to make an assertion of the ‘didn’t I tell you so’ or ‘I knew it’ kind after the conclusion of any event. Also – expressing repentance after losing money and swearing never to bet again.|
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.|
to hoax, to deceive.
|New Sporting Mag. Mar. 218: then comes the doubt as to whether the Derby winner will follow the example of so many predecessors, and fail to come the artful dodge over ‘Canny Yorkshire’.|
|Devizes & Wilts. Gaz. 25 Jan. 3/5: It enabled some of the ‘prads’ [...] to come the ‘artful’.|
|Hereford Jrnl 21 Oct. 3/7: [The bull] made a desperate charge at his mounted enemy, who tried [...] to come the artful dodge by manoeuvring about among the trees.|
|Naturalist III 239: These moths it generally caught on the wing, but should one chance to ‘come the artful dodge,’ and endeavour to baffle the intentions of its pursuer, by dropping amongst the herbage, it would be down upon it in a moment.|
|Mrs. Brown on the Skating Rink 136: Oh! he come the artful dodge more than once, ritin’ letters, a-sayin’ as he were a-dyin’, and a-goin’ to prisin and all like that.|
see big-note v.
see under bludger n.
1. (US) to doublecross.
|N.Y. Times 3 Sept. 2/5: She is a smart woman, but [...] not smart enough to come the double over him.|
|Black-Eyed Beauty 13: I think you’re coming the double over me, Bill [...] You must have got more than sixteen dollars for that watch!|
|Rose of Spadgers 43: A crooked crook is Spike amongst the crooks, / A rat, ’oo’d come the double on ’is friends.‘A Holy War’|
|Holy Smoke 51: ‘Oh yeah!’ He says. ‘Comin’ th’ double, eh?’.|
2. (Aus.) to take more than one’s fair share.
|Anzac Book 47/2: So ’e gets ’is grub after all, but ’e couldn’t come the double no more after that.|
|Digger Dialects 17: come the double — Demand one’s dues after having already received them.|
|(con. WWI) Soldier and Sailor Words 62: Come The Double, To: To take more than one’s share.|
(Aus.) to make a fuss, to burst into tears.
|Term of His Natural Life (1897) 38: Wot’s wrong with yer? Don’t come the drops ’ere.|
see come the nob under nob n.2
to pose as a member of a superior class to that to which one actually belongs.
|DSUE (8th edn) 243/2: from ca. 1860.|
(UK und.) to pretend to piety and reform.
|Morn. Post (London) 18 Dec. 3/3: ‘Come the holy blues’ affect pious penitence.|
(US) to fool, ‘bamboozle’.
|Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 3 Dec. n.p.: ‘You can’t come the load over me, love,’ as the dog said to the carman.|
(orig. milit.) to bluff, to ‘try it on’.
|Of Love And Hunger 103: They’re all right so long’s you don’t let ’em come the old bag. One o’ mine’d been getting me nothing but duds all week.|
to act in a lazy manner, to shirk one’s duties.
|(con. WWI) Soldier and Sailor Words 61: Come The Old Man [...] To attempt to shirk anything. To try to bluff someone.|
to deceive another for one’s own benefit, esp. to avoid an unpleasant task.
|Humours of the Army Act III: The Devil a Farthing he owes me – but however, I’ll put the old soldier upon him.|
|St Ronan’s Well (1833) 195: Curse me but I should think he was coming the old soldier over me, and keeping up his game.|
|West Kent Guardian 23 Nov. 6/2: I suppose he thought as I was an Irishman he could come the old soldier over me.|
|New Sprees of London 22: In one part you may behold a number of vagrants that have probably excited your commiseration in the streets, by [...] shamming fits, coming the old sailor, pitching the Spitalfields weaver, or the tradesman out of work!|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 June 3/2: Mr. Gilligan, your female friend has come the old soldier over you.|
|(con. 1843) White-Jacket (1990) 122: When it was my quarter-watch on deck, and not in the top, and others went skulking and ‘sogering’ about the decks, secure from detection [...] my own hapless jacket forever proclaimed the name of its wearer.|
|(con. 1850) Fights for the Championship 222: He was evidently playing the old soldier and reserving his strength.|
|Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 369: You needn’t try to come the old soldier over me. I’m not quite such a fool.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 167: Just try to [...] play the old soldier with him and there was no man in Dartmoor Prison more up to every move than the old Marine.|
|Dick Temple II 247: If you and your two friends think of coming what is vulgarly called the old soldier over me [etc.].|
|Daily News 3 Mar. in (1909) 87/1: A great amount of imposture was practised by means of the ‘old soldier’ dodge upon the Duke of Wellington during the latter part of his life. To ‘come the old soldier’ is in some quarters still a familiar expression signifying the practice of an artful trick, and the ‘old soldiers’ after Waterloo were so numerous and so pestered the Duke of Wellington that he was fain to hand over all applications for alms to the Old Mendicity Society.|
|[||Recoll. Sea-Wanderer 74: Mr. Williams was very much discontented at the way in which the captain was 'sogering' below, putting upon his officer's shoulders double duty and the entire responsibility of the voyage].|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 78: Soldier, [...] to manage with stratagem.|
|On Many Seas 309: The mate jumped on me for sojering in the halyards.(H.E. Hamblen)|
|Scarlet City 351: Don’t you ever try and come the old soldier over me.|
|McTeague (1958) 323: You soldiered me out of that money once, and played me for a sucker, an’ it’s my turn now.|
|More Ex-Tank Tales 164: The horse soldiered on me something scandalous, so that I was generally about fifteen minutes late.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 3 Aug. 6/3: Jeffries training and trying to get into condition and Jeffries soldiering and trying to kill a match are two different personages.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 87/1: Come the old soldier over, To (Peoples’). Cajolery, pretended poverty, specious lying statement. ‘Don’t come the old soldier over me’ -from fraudulent uniformed beggars after Waterloo.|
|Torchy 118: When I’ve been soldierin’, and try to run in a stiff bluff instead of the real goods, he looks as disappointed as if I’d done something real low down.|
|Zone Policeman 88 268: Then there was Bridgley, who had also once displayed his svelte form in a Z. P. uniform to admiring tourists, but was now a pursuer of ‘soldiering’ Hindus on Naos Island.|
|Lichfield Mercury 4 May 5/2: When a man attempts to take undue advantage over another he is said to be ‘coming the old soldier’.|
|(con. WWI) Soldier and Sailor Words 61: Come The Old Soldier [...] To attempt to shirk anything. To try to bluff someone.|
|Main Stem 90: He soldiered on the job, leaving to Slim and me nearly the entire burden of the heavy rods.|
|Iron Man 105: You been soldiering on me, Coke.|
|Cockney Cavalcade 282: You can’t come the ‘old soldier’ with me. I know you too well.|
|Headless Lady (1987) 17: But no soldiering, understand. If you cross me up -.|
|Little Men, Big World 97: They’d take your money and then soldier on the job.|
|Fowlers End (2001) 97: This is our new manager, Mr. Laverock. Look at ’im, and ask yourself is this the kind of person to come the old soldier with.|
|‘The Web of Fear’ in Dr Who [TV script] Scene xiii: Don’t try to come the old soldier with me, lad!|
|Signs of Crime 204: Tin soldier (a) To be impertinent or obstructive, as in ‘don’t come the old tin soldier with me!’.|
|(con. WW2) Heart of Oak [ebook] Now I knew what Tansy and Bert meant when they described somebody who worked shoddily or slowly as ‘a blinking soldier’ or as ‘coming the old soldier’.|
|posting at www.bbc.co.uk 3 Mar. 🌐 Now now lad dont come the old soldier, you can be excused cleaning my boots for two weeks send Ron in to do it.|
to hoodwink, to deceive.
|Rigby’s Romance (1921) Ch. viii: 🌐 ‘Rats!’ says Parryo [i.e. Pharaoh] . ‘Gorstruth!’ says he, ‘did you think you’d come Paddy over me? Won’t wash no (adj.) road.’.|
to pretend to be ill or even dead.
|Among Pines 189: He seems well enough, sir; I believe he’s coming the possum over mother [DA].|
(Aus.) to act resentfully or unpleasantly, to be rude.
|Salt: Army Education Jrnl 25 May 8: Don’t come the raw prawn, don’t try to put one over me .|
|Rusty Bugles I i: He’d better not come the raw prawn on us.|
|Come in Spinner (1960) 328: Coupla bastards come the raw prawn over me on the last lap up from Melbourne and I done me last bob at Swy.|
|Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 22: Don’t you come the raw prawn with me neither mate or I’ll flatten you.|
|Dinkumization or Depommification 48: I’m not coming the raw pommie over you.|
|Larrikins 30: Don’t come the raw prawn with me.|
|Behind Banana Curtain 43: [Ch. title] Copping the Raw prawn.|
|Dinkum Aussie Dict. 43: Raw Prawn: If someone ‘comes the raw prawn’, one has behaved in an extremely offensive fashion, hence, ‘Don’t come the bloody raw prawn with me, mate.’.|
|Foetal Attraction (1994) 123: I’m sick of you coming the raw prawn.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 50: come the uncooked crustacean Cause trouble, often by attempting to dupe. A variant on popular Australian phrase ‘come the raw prawn’. Often negative use, don’t come the uncooked crustacean, meaning don’t try to fool me. ANZ.|
|Guardian 10 July 3: Don’t come the raw prawn with me.|
(US campus) to defeat by trickery.
|Times 23 Jan. 2/1: A well known merchant on J street was yesterday charged by a teamster with coming ‘roots’ [of all evil!] over him to amount of $30 [DA].|
|Four Years at Yale 46: Roots, tricks. Used only in the phrase, to ‘come the roots over’ a person, that is, to get the better of him by some trick or deceit.|
|Somewhere in Red Gap 327: Some silly game he tried to come the roots over folks with.|
to pretend to great wealth.
|Dict. Sl. 111/2: To come the Rothschild, to pretend to be rich.|
|DSUE (1984) 244/1: ca. 1880–1914.|
|Return of Moriarty 57: A relatively young whore, Mary Jane Kelly, who sometimes came the Rothschild about her past, calling herself Marie Jeannette Kelly.|
1. to deceive, to bluff.
|Aus. Town and Country Jrnl 3 May 16: The most curious slang in the world is that of South Africa. If anyone tries to impose on him , or play him a trick, he is trying to ‘come the tin man’ and will be told to ‘voetsak’.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 244/1: C.20.|
2. to make oneself a nuisance.
|DSUE (8th edn) 244/1: C.20.|
see come the old soldier
of a prostitute, to pretend to be suffering from phthisis or pulmonary consumption.
|DSUE (1984) 244/1: C.19 † by 1891.|
to make threats, to menace.
|DSUE (1984) 244/1: from ca. 1870.|
see come the raw prawn