Green’s Dictionary of Slang

come it v.1

1. to act, to perform, to behave in a certain manner; usu. constr. with an adv.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Aug. VIII 252/2: Gemmen, if you do not come it rumly, I shall be dish’d.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 322: He could ‘come it well’ upon all points.
[UK] ‘A Game At Push Pin’ in Flash Chaunter 20: Then said Shove, / To fair Miss Love, / If you do come it so, / I plainly see, / All’s up with me.
[UK]‘The Pensioner’ in Flash Minstrel! in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) I 100: The only way to come it flash, / Is, to get a fancy gal.
[US]Morning Herald (N.Y.) 24 Aug. 2/5: John was coming it large in the upper part of the city.
[UK]Thackeray Paris Sketch Book I 42: I think the chaps down the road will stare [...] when they hear how I’ve been coming it.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 65: ‘We charges a win for them slums, and a brown for the pawney.’ ‘Oh, that’s coming it stiff [...] Vy, thunder my posh.’.
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 278: Oh! that’s coming it rather rough, Chapin.
Greenock Advertiser 15 June 4/1: ‘When they were coming it rough upon him, wasn’t it time to put his hands up?’.
[UK]W.P. Ridge Minor Dialogues 96: Don’t come it too thick.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 10 Jan. 5/3: A bad half-sov. from a gent, my eye, that’s coming it pretty hot.
[UK]Daily Gaz. for Middlesborough 22 Sept. 4/5: I can’t get no hold of him [...] unless I come it very artful.
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 54: But you did come it a bit thick, Peter.
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 133: You’ll be a blighted brass-hat, coming it heavy over the hard-working regimental officer.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 79: Still, having eunuchs in their choir that was coming it a bit thick.
[UK]‘George Orwell’ Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1962) 181: ‘Coming it a bit, aren’t you?’ said the commercial traveller.
[UK]H. Pinter Caretaker Act III: Don’t come it with me.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘A Losing Streak’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] 100 notes? You’re coming it a bit ain’t yer Boycie?
[UK]H. Mantel Beyond Black 207: Don’t come that with me, matey.

2. to show off, to boast.

[UK] ‘Crib and the Black’ Egan Boxiana I 481: Hark! he’s come it to old Joey Ward, he can fight a good hour.
[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 133: The Dukes and Lords do stare, / To view Saucy Nell ‘come it’ with so genteel an air.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 47: Nanty coming it on a pall, or wid cracking to queer a pitch.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 197: Upon my word, young’ un [...] you’re a-coming it, you are! and only in your second term, too.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 May 3/4: This case was brought to light in consequence of Nahy ‘coming it’, not relishing the loss of a large sum of monpy.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 106: ‘An’t he coming it?’ i.e., is he not proceeding at a great rate?
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 1 Nov. 1/1: Some of the sycophants dared to come it in front of Bosun Bill.
[UK]J.N. Hall Kitchener’s Mob 69: Don’t try to come it, son.

3. to act aggressively, often with no grounds for so doing.

[UK] ‘The Treadmill’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 139: Tom, Jerry, Logic, three prime sprigs, / Find here they cannot come it.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 25/2: If you promise me that you won’t ‘come it’ on me, I’ll tell you [...] where the ‘fawney’ is.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 61: Come It, To [...] to be domineering.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: If he tries to come it on he gets it through the head.
[UK]N. Dunn Up the Junction 85: Don’t come it with Scummy Lil.

4. to impress as a lover.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 25/1: He couldn’t ‘come it’ over Beckey, and so was obliged to ‘knuckle-under’ to his ‘pal’.

5. to deceive another for one’s own benefit, esp. to avoid an unpleasant task.

[UK]Annals of Sporting 1 Feb. 133: He did so come it [...] shamming Abram, and pretending to be deaf to time.
[US]D. Corcoran Picking from N.O. Picayune 50: The Recorder endeavoured to look like a man in the midst of business but he ‘couldn’t come it’.
[US]‘Timothy Titcomb’ Letters to Young People 141: If you imagine that you may ‘go it while you are young, for when you are old you can’t,’ you won’t ‘come it,’ ‘by a long chalk.’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 17 Aug. 3/2: He declared he was ‘too good a man to come it on his pals’.
[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 14: My new-found friend acknowledged that some parties had made fortunes through his aid. ‘But they don’t come it any more, I’ll be goll darned if they do,’ cried Hopeful.
[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 321: To inform ... To come it.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 61: Come It, To [...] To attempt to shirk anything. To try to bluff someone. Also, to be domineering.
[US](con. 1910s) D. Mackenzie Hell’s Kitchen 89: The inexperienced are generally safe in the matter of honour until they are ‘knocked off’ (arrested) [...] A whisper to the effect that the detectives are on the job is frequently sufficient to cause these unreliables to ‘come it’ (lay information) against their pals.

6. to be cheeky.

[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 72: I don’t want none o’ your ikey little ways. So cheese it – see! Don’t come it.
[UK](con. 1920s) McArthur & Long No Mean City 86: You’re no’ trying to come it, are you?

In phrases

come it over (v.) (also come it on)

1. to compel, to intimidate.

J. Chumasero Life in Rochester 67: We came it on him right and left, hit his right hind wheel, smashed his concern all to flinters .
[US]S. Northup Twelve Years A Slave 234: He must take me for a soft, to think he can come it over me with them kind of yarns.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[US]G.D. Chase ‘Cape Cod Dialect’ in DN II:vi 424: come it over, v. To get the advantage of. ‘You can’t come it over me.’.
[Aus]‘William Hatfield’ Sheepmates 173: You sling orf at ’im cos e’ talks English. You reckon ’e’s comin’ it over you cos ’e knows where all the aitches go in.

2. (US) to trick, to deceive.

[US]N.Y. Daily Express 24 Feb. 1/3–4: John Turman [...] used to lounge about the bar, and come it over other people’s liquor.
[UK]Hereford Times 25 Nov. 1/8: He threw [the ring] and jokingly said, ‘You must not come it [...] over me too often’.
[US]J.S. Robb Streaks of Squatter Life 163: Tom had ‘come it’ over him for so many odd dinners, without a shadow of prospect for pay.
[US]F.M. Whitcher Widow Bedott Papers (1883) 68: You remember how he come it over me about the shoes, don’t ye? [...] he sarved me the awfullest trick that you ever heerd on.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 49: You can’t cum it over me, my boy! Not at all, Sir.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 592: To come over or come it over a person, means to get the better of a person by superiority of argument.
Chorley Standard 16 Sept. 10/7: Young woman [...] you can’t come it over me. I’m too old a bird to be caught by chaff like that.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 22/2: The young man who thinks he is going to come it over Mrs. Smart will have to travel far and lay in experience, he will also have to sleep with one eye propped open, and a bull-dog under his pillow.
[US]S. Crane Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (2001) 53: And she won’t come it over me with any of her ‘now-Freddie-dears’.
[US]G.D. Chase ‘Cape Cod Dialect’ in DN II:vi 424: come it on, v. To deceive, to trick.
[US] ‘Central Connecticut Word-List’ in DN III:i 6: come it over, v. Overcome, get the better of: ‘You can’t come it over me.’.
[Ire]S. O’Casey Juno and the Paycock Act I: If you think you’re able to come it over me with them fairy tales, you’re in the wrong shop.
come it strong (v.)

1. (also go it strong) to act in a challenging, aggressive manner; sometimes intensified by ‘as mustard’.

[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 609: Always good sport when he is present — no want of sauce or seasoning — he always comes it strong.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 86: But if you want to splash along / In glory with a ginger, / Or in a Stanhope come it strong.
[UK]Thackeray Yellowplush Papers in Works III (1898) 283: Though master was a scoundrill and no mistake, he was a gentlemin, and a man of good breading; and miss came a little too strong (pardon the wulgarity of the xpression) with her hardor and attachmint.
[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. II ii: I’m afraid he’ll smoke if I go it on him too strong.
[UK]R. Barham ‘Netley Abbey’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 116: Dancing! and drinking! – cigar and song! / If not profanation, it’s ‘coming it strong’.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Mar. 3/4: How is it that a certain little Locker [...] is able to come it so strong in the potatoe trade?
[US]J.C. Neal Peter Ploddy and Other Oddities 46: ‘You should go it,’ remarked Spifflikens, ‘go it strong – that’s the way to scatter the blue devils: go it strong.’.
[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms 339: To go it strong, means to do a thing with energy or perseverance.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 119: Pull out, come it strong.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 6 Oct. Sept. 3/1: Poidey had been coming it rather strong for the last week or two, and speculation was rife as to the locality of the mint.
[US]T. Haliburton Nature and Human Nature II 67: Hullo, sais I to myself, she’s coming it too peeowerful stong altogether.
[UK]Paul Pry (London) 15 Aug. n.p.: [of heavy drinking] A certain bookseller, of Tower-hill, not to give way to day tipling. We hear that this fast gent has been coming it rather strong of late.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Ask Mamma 455: ‘Coming it strong,’ thought the Major, who had never been called illustrious before.
[US]Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT) 3 Sept. 4/1: With logic first, he’ll ‘go it strong’.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 239/2: He used to come it very strong against Old Nosey, the Hyde Park bully as he called him.
[US]N.S. Dodge ‘Vagrants and Vagrancy’ in Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) 6 Sept. 308: Go, for a drink, is cant; inexpressibles, for trousers, is slang; a clergyman’s seals (converts) is cant; but [...] to tool a dwag down to the Derby, is cant; which was coming it strong (like Ah Sin), is slang.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Little Mr. Bouncer 13: What! cut Chapel and posted an Æger, for the second time in one week [...] you’re coming it strong.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Mar. 18/4: We are coming. Billy Dalley, / We are coming all along, / But don’t you think you’re coming it / Yourself a leetle strong?
[UK] ‘’Arry on Law and Order’ in Punch 26 Nov. 249/1: To talk of abolishing Millionnaires, Charlie, is coming it strong.
[Aus]‘John Miller’ Workingman’s Paradise 63: Here, I say [...] Aren’t you coming it a little too strong?
[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 62: They’ll beef anyhow if the guns go it too strong.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 July 12/4: Even the Woman’s Hospital gives bed and board to the ‘hardened minx,’ though the Dianas of the committee say, in a snortful tone, that the unwed mother of a frequent family is ‘coming it pretty strong.’.
[UK]Magnet 7 Mar. 3: Well, that is coming it strong, and no mistake.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Aug. 11/4: ‘The Old Man With Grey Hair,’ who is distributing bogus bank notes in Sydney and suburbs, is still coming it strong, despite Police Inspector-General Garvin’s infuriated chivvying of his department.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘The Lily of St Leonards’ in Roderick (1972) 802: She’s been goin’ it strong this last year or two, that one.
[Aus]A. Marshall These Are My People (1957) 59: ‘I smoke,’ went on Olive. ‘I even roll my own.’ This was coming it a bit strong, and the boys laughed unbelievingly.

2. to act, to practise, to perform one’s part.

[UK] ‘Slashing Costermonger’ in Cuckold’s Nest 10: For carrot or cod, no cove, egod, / Than me can come it stronger.
[US]B. Harte ‘Heathen Chinee’ in Eclectic Mag. Ser. XIII 753: In his sleeves, which were long, he had twenty-four packs. Which was coming it strong.

3. to tell lies.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 56: ‘Come it strong, to’ is to pitch lies heavily upon a person or a circumstance, sometimes done quite civilly, at others adversely. ‘How well he comes it!’ How well he lies!
come it with (v.)

to act in a certain way in order to take advantage (of someone).

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 242/2: C.19.