- A television series that never came off (from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
- He tried his Chaplin impression, but it didn't really come off. (from Wiktionary)
- The match comes off on Tuesday (from The Century Dictionary)
Why come off equals take place, succeed in these examples?
To come means generally "to approach", while off has multiple meanings, but they are generally contrary to the sense of "approach". These basic meanings give no hint as to why did the sense of succeed develop.
The Century Dictionary (page 1120) lists the senses of
- To depart; move or turn away; withdraw; retreat. "We might have thought the Jews when they had seen the destruction of Jerusalem would have come off from their obstinacy"
- To escape; get free. "If they come off safe, call their deliverance a miracle."
- To emerge from some undertaking or transaction; issue; get out or away: as, to come off with honor or disgrace.
It lists the sense of "take place" only in position 4.
But the meanings of "to get away", "to emerge from some undertaking" seem to contradict the sense of "to take place", "to succeed". The television series in my example 1 have nothing to emerge from, it didn't even start.
What do you think about it? How did this sense develop?
(Without knowing its origin, one just has to memorise it with no apprehension as to why it means what it means.)