The movie Warrior has a scene where Tommy visits his father Paddy.

Paddy: Here you go.

Tommy: Coffee? You haven't seen a guy in 14 years and you're not gonna have a drink with him? Come on.

Paddy: I told you, I'm off it, Tommy. I'm coming up on 1,000 days.

Apparently, I'm coming up on 1,000 days here means "I have been going for 1,000 days without alcohol." I feel like I have seen come up used this way before, but strangely I can't find a dictionary entry for this usage. I have checked come up in Merriam-Webster, The Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, and Macmillan, but this usage isn't included. What does come up mean here exactly and what might some other examples of this usage be?

Google bears out this usage, but there's no credible dictionary source that I am able to find.

Also, what are some other ways of saying "I am coming up on 1,000 days"?

3 Answers 3


As others have mentioned, the expression "coming up on (something)" is synonymous with "approaching (something)", and can be used in the same contexts:

Hello passengers, this is your captain speaking. Those of you on the left side of the aircraft will see that we are coming up on beautiful Crater Lake, and should pass close enough that you should be able to take some nice pictures.

Okay, head's up. We are coming up on 480 cycles of the machine -- once it hits 500 we should stop to check the alignment before continuing.

My youngest brother is coming up on his 50th birthday. Man, some days I feel so old.

In the movie, it is implied that the character is approaching 1000 days of sobriety, with the strong suggestion that he may be part of a program like Alcoholics Anonymous, which helps people with substance abuse problems overcome their addiction. These programs award "Sobriety Coins" for going a certain period of time without using, since having measurable goals helps people stay committed.

Loose synonyms of "come up on" include: near, reach, converge, catch up, close in, come close, draw near, gain on, verge upon, loom and various others.

I told you, I'm off it Tommy. I'm nearing 1000 days.

Each of these might have a different nuance, so please check the context.


It has the same meaning as:

My birthday is coming up.

meaning that my birthday will happen soon. So in:

I'm coming up on 1,000 days.

it means he is getting close to the 1000 days mark, but is not there yet. Maybe it has been 980 days, for example.


Coming up on here means "approaching". He isn't saying has reached 1000 days, but that he is near that goal.

There is nothing in the words that relates to alcohol: that is entirely dependent on the context.

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