phrases, sayings, proverbs and idioms at
Home button Home | Search the website Search | Phrase Dictionary | Come what come may

The meaning and origin of the expression: Come what come may

Come what come may

Other phrases by:

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Come what come may'?

Let whatever events crop up come to pass.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Come what come may'?

The meaning and origin of the phrase 'Come what come may'From Shakespeare's Macbeth, 1605. Usually used just as 'come what may'.

A version of this was known in France as early as 1375, shown here from John Barbour's, The Bruce:

"Thai wuld defend, avalze que valze."

"avalze que valze" is "vaille que vaille" in modern French, meaning "let it avail what it may, come what may".

The Spanish "que sera sera" - "what will be, will be" is also old and pre-dates Shakespeare's "come what come may".

The phrase, although it has those continental European counterparts, sounds archetypically English. It had reached the USA by 1878 though, when it appeared in the 4th Jan edition of The New York Times:

"...and should Parliament endorse that sentiment, come what come may, the might of England shall be put forth with a vigour and earnestness worthy of her old fame".

Gary Martin - the author of the website.

By Gary Martin

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Browse phrases beginning with:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T UV W XYZ Full List