Which of the two is the correct sentence:

You are a sorry excuse of a magician


You are a sorry excuse for a magician

If both applies, then what is the difference between the two and when should we use one or the other?

2 Answers 2


A view of the corpus indicates that sorry excuse for is more idiomatic.

It seems that the corpus from the great island over the sea is more decisive than the one from American English.

  • 3
    Well it is called 'English' you know.
    – 5arx
    Jun 26, 2015 at 21:09

ODO gives, under the definition of an excuse for examples for both excuse for and excuse of, which would imply that they can be used interchangeably. Although I have to agree, Google Books did give over 33,000 hits for sorry excuse for a vs. somewhat less than 2,500 for sorry excuse of a.

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