I have a survey and I need to translate it into another language. There is a question in the survey - "American products, first, last, and foremost.". Users have to answer using scale from 1 to 7, where is fully agree, but 7 is fully disagree.

I cannot translate this question as I do not understand it. Can you, please, somehow describe what it means? I have found out that there is an idiom "first and formest". It means something like "at the beginning", "first" or "very important". Right? But what means "first, last and foremost"?

  • I'm wondering what the support you are going to get for this statement from an audience who need the survey in a language other than English. – DJClayworth Sep 16 '14 at 19:35

It simply means

I strongly prefer to buy American products.

First, last, and foremost is merely meant to emphasize the extreme lengths the speaker would go to buy American. See, for example, this discussion of US statutes that seek to implement such a policy. [Wikipedia]

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To illustrate the way this works, let's build up the statement:

  • "American products first" means that in my buying decisions I will consider American products before others.
  • "American products first and last" means that I won't consider any products other than American - the American products come first in my options, and they are also my last options - i.e. there are no options after them.
  • "American products first, last and foremost" is really there for emphasis, since it adds nothing logically.
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