Probably informal if not exclusively colloquial. The pattern is as follows

<adjective>, that

Some that I've seen:

Awful, that.

Wonderful, that.

Suspicious, that.

I understand the meaning and the nuance it has, but I'm wondering if there's any documentation on this use? What part of speech would it be?


1 Answer 1


Definition 2 at Lexico describes this usage of the pronoun 'that' as " referring to a specific thing previously mentioned, known, or understood." I haven't been able to find anything about its use.

Ngram and Google aren't much help in situations like this, where the punctuation is crucial and where it's impossible to exclude e.g."(It's) wonderful that (something happened)".

All I found were one or two examples of its use in the 1840's. For example by James Fennimore Cooper, in Roberts' Semi-monthly Magazine,1841 (P.71):

"Anna is not a favorite with her sister."
"Very odd, that," said the aunt gravely.

I wonder if, rather than it being a re-arrangement of "That's [adjective]," the pattern might be an abbreviation of "How [adjective] that is."

“How funny that is, Wendale," the young man rejoined. [The Shamrock, 1868]


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