The Grammarphobia Blog

Come on-a my house

Q: How do you feel about the many young people who say things like “Come over my house” or “I slept over his house” – rather than “over to” and “over at” respectively?

A: This clipped kind of expression (“I went over his house,” “She slept over my house”) is a new one on me. (Though I may have heard it a few years back on “The Sopranos.”)

It reminds me of the Rosemary Clooney song “Come On-a My House” (“Come on-a my house my house, I’m gonna give you candy…”).

As for my opinion, I think it’s charming – in its place.

Grammatically, of course, it’s not kosher, but I love regional language differences and idioms and all those things that make English quirky and unpredictable.

What’s more, this idiomatic usage is economical. It uses only one preposition (“over”) instead of two (“over to” … “over at”). So it makes a certain amount of sense.

In other words, I think it’s OK for young people to use it among themselves – in conversation, instant messages, texting, and so on.

But I wouldn’t recommend it in formal writing or even in casual conversation with grownups who care about proper grammar and usage – say English teachers.

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