People will say: He usually comes round here about 8 o'clock of an evening, or 10 o'clock of a morning, or of a Saturday afternoon.

Is this standard English? I tend to associate it with Londoners.

  • I think you are asking for this: english.stackexchange.com/questions/54228/…
    – user66974
    Nov 11 '15 at 22:13
  • I grew up and still live in the American South (NE Georgia). "Old people" I grew up around often used this expression.
    – JBo
    Jun 20 '18 at 13:32
  • My Mom was from Abington, VA and used that expression when referring to a time of day: of a morning, of an afternoon, of an evening. I still use it, as does my brother. I'm 64.
    – user3113
    Jul 25 '19 at 1:57
  • I've heard it and used it myself here in Australia.
    – nnnnnn
    Jul 25 '19 at 2:39

ODO says that of an evening(or morning etc,) is an informal expression meaning:

  • at some time in the evenings (or mornings etc.).


  • If you're generally stuck for something to have for dinner of an evening, then hop along to The Red Kitchen and see what people there are having.
  • Besides, the three of you look impossibly cute when you're sat like that of an evening.
  • Now - you MUST bring Connie over to the club for dinner of an evening soon; my wife was only talking to her last week and she was saying it's been so long since we've all eaten together!


  • on most evenings (or mornings etc.).


  • When I was growing up The Archers was a regular feature, always on in the kitchen of an evening and my sister and I were forced to keep quiet for the critical 15 minutes.
  • Thanks for confirming my long-held belief that I'm better off slowly destroying my liver than staying in of an evening.
  • We've come to delight in having a few tealights burning of an evening.

From: The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language:

  • Some speakers of vernacular English varieties, particularly in isolated or mountainous regions of the southern United States, use phrases such as of a night or of an evening in place of Standard English at night or in the evening, as in We’d go hunting of an evening.”


  • Thanks Josh. I knew there must have been a previous post on this somewhere.
    – WS2
    Nov 11 '15 at 22:53

The expression "of an evening" and the like would have been standard usage in Old English - by which I mean the language as it was in the Anglo-Saxon era. OE as you may know was a language which often used inflection of the noun without needing a preposition and in all of the MS I have seen the case form used for this expression is genitive - which in ME employs "of". So in OE one would use "æfenes" the genitive case form of "æfen"

  • 1
    Very interesting answer.
    – WS2
    Jan 30 '17 at 13:40

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