This is a sentence from “Winnie-the-Pooh” by Miln. He and Piglet planned to lure the Heffalump into the Cunning Trap by putting honey into it. After returning home Winnie found there was no honey left, got upset and lamented, “Bother!” “It all comes of trying to be kind to Heffalumps.”

Is "come of" an old-fashioned construction, or it's still in use? I could find only "come from".

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Alexey86 posted:

“It all comes of trying to be kind to Heffalumps.”

Is "come of" an old-fashioned construction, or it's still in use?

Hi, Alexey86,

I do find "come of" to be a bit old-fashioned. I think I tend to use it only in fairly set contexts, as in sentences like "What good will come of it?"

That said, "come of" has a long history of usage in English, and the OED's examples go right into the twenty-first century. Here is the relevant definition:

Quote (from The Oxford English Dictionary):


 17. intransitive. With prepositional phrase (introduced by of (formerly also by)) as complement. Of an advantage, benefit, misfortune, etc.: to result from something, as an effect from its cause; to occur as a consequence. Cf. to come on —— 2 at Phrasal verbs 2, to come out of —— 2 at Phrasal verbs 2.

eOE   Bald's Leechbk. (Royal) (1865) ii. 166 (table of contents)    Læcedom wiþ windigre aþundenesse þæs miltes, sio cymð of æpla æte.
OE   Ælfric Lives of Saints (Julius) (1881) I. 16   Gif þæt yrre bið on yfel awend, þonne cymð [c1175 Bodl. 343 cymeð] of þam unrotnisse and æmylnysse.
lOE   Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) anno 1083   Ærest hit com of þæs abbotes unwisdome, þet he misbead his munecan on fela þingan.
?c1225  (?a1200)    Ancrene Riwle (Cleo. (1972) 218   Þet Muche kimeð of lutel.
1340   Ayenbite (1866) 255   Manie kuedes..comeþ of kueade tonge.
c1405  (c1390)    G. Chaucer Nun's Priest's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 107   Certes this dreem..Comth of the grete superfluitee Of youre rede Colera pardee.
a1425  (a1325)    Cursor Mundi (Galba) l. 27682   Of enuy cummes oft grete grocheing.
1485–6   Rolls of Parl.: Henry VII (Electronic ed.) Parl. Nov. 1485 1st Roll §20. m. 15   The money comyng of or by the seid sales.
1568   W. Turner Herbal iii. 3   Rotten agues, of which the jaundes is commed.
1580   J. Lyly Euphues & his Eng. (new ed.) f. 115   Their beautie commeth by Nature, yours by Art.
1590   C. Marlowe Tamburlaine: 1st Pt. sig. B5   What thinkst thou man, shal come of our attemptes.
1611   M. Smith in Bible (King James) Transl. to Rdr. sig. Av   He had not seene any profit to come by any Synode.
1663   S. Butler Hudibras: First Pt. i. i. 57   Sure some mischief will come of it.
1735   H. Fielding Universal Gallant iii. 36   There's no Good ever comes of Romping and Palming.
1774   C. Dibdin Waterman i. 15   Why the girl's distracted! but this comes of gadding about with your mother.
1833   New Monthly Mag. 37 350   Education comes of more things than books.
1884   W. C. Smith Kildrostan 48   Suspicion murders love, and from its death Come anguish and remorse.
1914   Times 10 Jan. 9/5   We are of opinion that ill rather than good will come of misspelling the root forms of Latin derivatives.
1993   B. Sidhwa Amer. Brat (1994) xi. 120   I told you, no good would come of sending Feroza to America!
2008   Guardian 2 Feb. (Guide Suppl.) 3/1   What earthly good can come of having polished pits that look like a Sindy's?

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