From the Godfather:

Frank Pentagelli came to the party organized by Michael Corleone from New Yourk and met there Fredo. He said:

Frank: Fredo, Fredo you son-of-a-bitch you look great.

Fredo: Frank Pentagelli, I though you was never coming out west, you big buml.

My question is about the coming out why did he use exactly the come out? Why didn't just say coming from? What kind of emotiong did Fredo try to emphasize doing that?


Fredo: Frank Pentagelli, I though you was never coming [out west], you big bum!.

The out here is not part of the phrasal verb "come out", but rather of out west. The word out stresses that west is the side of the country that this person is not much familiar with, because he/she lives in the eastern part of the country.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, "out west" is a collocation of words typical to the US:

out west (US) - to or in the west of the US: Travis moved out west after college.

This idiom also stems from the fact that

Most of the settlement of the United States was done by people moving from east to west. For example, the original 13 states in the United States were along the Atlantic coast. (from an answer regarding "back east" by Jasper)

So that

The underlying source is the idea is that everyone [in the Western states of the US] is somehow "from" the east, and they (or their ancestors) at one point moved "out west", but if they were to return, it would be to go "back east." (from an answer by Nohat)

  • I'm not entirely sure I agree. "out west" is a valid phrase, but "coming out back" or "coming out front" or "are you coming out to the east side" suggests there may be reason to associate "coming" and "out" in this sense. – Cort Ammon Jul 20 '15 at 13:50
  • @CortAmmon No more than "coming in" or "coming to" or "coming from", which could easily replace "coming out" in your examples (e.g. "coming to the front" or "coming from the back"). In "coming out", "out" is simply a preposition. – talrnu Jul 20 '15 at 13:52
  • 1
    Compare to “up north” and “down south” in British English. These phrases work even with verbs like “live”, which generally don't have a direction to them. – James Wood Jul 20 '15 at 18:18

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