Asked to comment on the use of the phrase “one big of a question,” I responded that it sounded totally off to me. I’ve always used a noun in the place of “big” here: one hell of a night, one humdinger of a lunch, one devil of a time, etc. Someone countered me with this link and the assertion that it indeed exists because it came up in the Google search. As far as I’m concerned, it’s existence on Google doesn’t automatically make it grammatical or acceptable, but I wonder if perhaps I’m missing something?
You are correct. That is not idiomatic.
While "that big of a [noun]" is commonly used, you can see from this Google Ngram comparison that usage of "one big of" is practically non-existent
I abide by the Edwin Ashworth's point of view on the issue in question (as to the lookout for the usage of the phrase and its relevance).
From a grammatical point of view:
- On the one hand "one" can be an adjective meaning "very" that can be put in instead of the Indefinite article before adjectives:
- "She was keeping a very big secret = She was keeping one big secret", and (from "Your Secret Keeper" by Alison Charm): "[the man might have turned to Teresa to escape from further scandal, but] She was keeping one big of a secret";
- (from "Love of a Vampire") "He is blue eyes blonde hair guy who looks hot and one big of a flirt person"
- On the other hand "one" can be a noun:
- (from Urban Dictionary) dekahs is another name for a worm - "Hey look at that worm (...at that one)! [That one is very big] That's one big of a dekahs";
- (from an article on www.thealleytheater.org "For Your Inspiration: The Golden Rules of Designing an Open-Concept Space") "It’s a bit more difficult to arrange a space in an open-concept, precisely because you just have one big of a box to fill (...you have one [box] to fill) — with no walls, no furniture yet, and no guideposts whatsoever".
- (some more live examples)
- "Let's face it. Starting a business is one big of a headache". (www.horeca.co.il);
- "Three years later here we are and were trying it with a bang and it’s one big of a bang since we grabbed their Yang Dinner Menu with some Beverage Package on our most recent team dinner." (from a blog of a New Zealander about a restauraunt Madam Woo, North Shore City, New Zealand on www.angsarap.net);
- "I tried crepes, I tried pancakes, but I cannot get this thing to get underneath any of my food being cooked without making one big of a mess." (from a customer review on amazon);
- "The company shows immense concern aginst this charge through a post on Instagram, and why won’t they, getting charged from a Trillion Dollar tech giant company is one big of a deal." (from "Apple takes legal action against Prepear — This is why" on www.medium.com);
- "You can also always go with a mt410 then convert the chassis to a ET chassis you'll notice one big of a heck difference." (from www.teknoforums.com);
- "It was one big of a controversy then that led to the breakup of the Sovereign Prince and her French Actress girlfriend Gisèle Pascal after rumors of her being infertile broke out." (from www.theroyalforums.com);
- "Together we fall" is one big of a mess but a very addictive one. I read the three books in a row and I am already craving for more. (from a review of "The Storm We Face (Together We Fall, #3)" by Katie May);
- "Brace yourselves ladies..this is going to be one big of a confession. It's a wrap up of my entire season of football cheer, and the reason why cheerleader was basically ruined for me." (from "Confessions Of A High School Cheerleader" www.fierceboard.com);
- "They usually prefer starting with a marketplace before making the jump to a personalised website. Now moving the entire catalogue from one place to another becomes one big of a task." (from www.wedgecommerce.com).
- (another adjective after "big") "At any rate, you will see some interesting logical essay topics. To find a topic is yet one significant of a task to do." (from www.forum.malighting.com)