as ADJ of a N as

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Wed Feb 18 20:32:28 UTC 2004

On 18 Feb 2004, at 14:06, Joan Houston Hall wrote:

> DARE treats it at "of"  section B, subsection g.  It's pretty well
> scattered, but somewhat more common in the South.

DARE sees this as "probably a remodeling of the order adj + indef
art + noun by analogy with the common pattern noun + "of" + indef
art + noun (as in "a whale of a deal" or "not much of a bargain").
FWIW, the Collegiate describes a use of "of" very similar to the
one in last-mentioned DARE examples: that of "a function word to
indicate apposition <that fool of a husband>"

Joanne M. Despres, Senior Editor
Merriam-Webster, Inc.
jdespres at

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