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Re: ORIGINATION OF PHRASE "HOW COME"

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 11, 2005

In Reply to: ORIGINATION OF PHRASE "HOW COME" posted by MKC on March 10, 2005

: WHEN DID "HOW COME" BEGIN TO EQUAL "WHY"?

I'm not sure that "How did it come about that ...?" is actually synonymous with "why," although plainly they are interchangeable in many contexts. The phrase appears in print in 1848 in an American dictionary (as per the OED), which says that doubtless the phrase was brought over from England. The English, if the OED is an example, have disowned the phrase, attributing it to Americans. SS