Of the finest quality, as in That was a play of the first water. This idiom refers to a grading system for diamonds for their color or luster (compared to the shininess of water). The system is no longer used but the term, used figuratively since the early 1800s, has survived it.
[aw-fuh n, of-uh n; awf-tuh n, of-] /ˈɔ fən, ˈɒf ən; ˈɔf tən, ˈɒf-/ adverb 1. many times; frequently: He visits his parents as often as he can. 2. in many cases. adjective 3. Archaic. . /ˈɒfən; ˈɒftən/ adverb 1. frequently or repeatedly; much of the time Archaic equivalents oftentimes, ofttimes 2. as often as […]
- Of the devil
see: speak of the devil
/ˈɒfˌtɛl/ noun acronym (in Britain) 1. Office of Telecommunications: a government body set up in 1984 to supervise telecommunications activities in the UK, and to protect the interests of the consumers
- Oil crayon
noun See oil pastel