... come spring

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nyggus

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Hi,

I have problems with the emboldened clause, taken from Steven Pinker's "The Sense of Style":

"... it's safer not to travel far, and the local herons have first dibs on the breeding grounds come spring."​

(This whole fragment comes after a colon.) I do understand the what the clause says, but I don't understand the construction, the "come spring" phrase in particular. Could we rewrite the fragment as

"... it's safer not to travel far, and the local herons have first dibs on the breeding grounds when spring comes"?​

Thanks,
nyggus
 

Rover_KE

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Yes, you've got it - 'come spring' is an idiom which means 'when spring comes'.
 

GoesStation

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Write the bolded clause or the clause in bold face. "Emboldened" means "made courageous".
 

tzfujimino

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Well, I've found this. (Please see definition #2)
It's not commonly used, I guess.
 

Raymott

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It's seems that not many of us are familiar with that usage. I've never heard of it either.
 

andrewg927

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I don't know if I would call it an idiom. I think it is just a common expression.
 

nyggus

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Write the bolded clause or the clause in bold face. "Emboldened" means "made courageous".
It was not my invention indeed; around 10 years ago or so my British colleague—an experienced academic writer—told me to use "embolden" in this meaning.
 

GoesStation

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It was not my invention indeed; around 10 years ago or so my British colleague—an experienced academic writer—told me to use "embolden" in this meaning.

The linked dictionary definition was marked "specialist". Evidently emboldened may be used in the publishing industry. Don't use it elsewhere; say bolded or bold face.
 

Tdol

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I have heard embolden used in British English. I use it as a verb and think it sounds OK in Nyggus's post, though I would be more likely to use in bold there.
 
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