2

Waits muttered the joke on Norman Lear’s television show Fernwood 2 Night in 1977, but he didn’t come up with it.

I searched the phrase come up with in Longman Dictionary, it means:

  • to think of an idea
  • to produce an amount of money

I know the first meaning is better but I still cannot understand the meaning of the sentence above.

So, could you please explain it to me?

The fuller text is:

Once, when asked about his drinking, the musician Tom Waits famously muttered, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” He appeared to be hammered when he said it. Oh, and he was on national television.Waits muttered the joke on Norman Lear’s television show Fernwood 2 Night in 1977, but he didn’t come up with it. Nobody knows where the joke originated, and if you try to find out online, you’ll lose yourself down a rabbit hole of theories. Some have credited the joke to the writer Dorothy Parker, others to comedian Steve Allen. Waits himself claimed he didn’t remember where he first heard it. He also admitted that the joke wasn’t his.

3

The first meaning perfectly fits, as you've already deducted.

Waits muttered the joke on Norman Lear’s television show Fernwood 2 Night in 1977, but he didn’t come up with it.

This simply means that even though the joke in question was mentioned on the show by Waits, it was not his own creation, i.e., Waits did not think of the joke, someone else did. He just used it in the show.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.