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Come up short

verb phrase

To be deficient; not add up to what it ought: Shelton slugged 15 aces, but the rest of his game came up short (1980s+)


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  • Come up smelling like a rose

    verb phrase To have extraordinarily good luck; emerge from peril with profit [1950s+; fr the traditional image of the happy person who ”falls in the shitpile and comes up smelling like a rose”]

  • Come up to the wire

    verb phrase To approach the finish; come near the end: The crucial project is coming up to the wire and we’re a bit nervous [1970s+; fr the wire that marks the finish line of a race]

  • Come within an ace

    verb phrase To come very near to doing something, winning something, etc: She came within an ace of getting the world title [1704+; probably a version of the 13th-century term within ambs ace, ”very close to,” ambs ace being the lowest point in dice, two ones or snake-eyes, fr Old French fr Latin ambas as, […]

  • Come with the territory

    Related Terms go with the territory (or TURF) verb phrase To be an integral part of some occupation or status, esp a part that is not especially delightful: At EPA It Goes With the Territory/ Tierney’s answer was that such speculation ”goes with the territory”/ Such embarrassments come with the turf, however [1960s+; fr the […]

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