Is using the preposition 'of' in places where you want to say that the subject is possessing the 'something' which follows 'of' (basically an adjective) a common practice and correct?


My girl of beautiful eyes and dark tresses showed up at the hall in her wedding dress.

The meaning intended: The girl has beautiful eyes and dark tresses.

  • Not really a rule, but frequently if there's an owner-owned relationship "x of y", x is owned by y.
    – user888379
    Nov 9, 2021 at 22:48
  • Why wouldn't you just use with so people will be more likely to understand you here?
    – tchrist
    Nov 10, 2021 at 0:07
  • 1
    @KannE "Weird" is when you wake up in the night, go to the window and see giant winged turtles landing on your lawn and having a party.
    – WS2
    Nov 10, 2021 at 0:30
  • 1
    @WS2 - Not so weird if the turtles just nap.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 10, 2021 at 1:05

2 Answers 2



made or consisting of; having:

  • a woman of great charm

(Cambridge Dictionary)

  • 1
    I'd add that it's a little poetic, or fancy, or of high tone. Nov 9, 2021 at 21:28

It doesn't really work with the example provided by the question, though I wouldn't rule out A girl of green eyes and ruddy complexion stepped forward.

Also consider some of the following:

Intangible things possessed:

Joseph wore a coat of many colours. He was a man of very few words. It turned out to be a day of very few surprises. She was a player of great potential.

Tangible things:

Obama's memoirs are contained in a book of over 600 pages. They found themselves in a field of sheep A bottle of water, a tank of petrol, a hive of bees, a shelf of books, a line of cars

One could go on for a long time adding to this list, including tangible things. Hence I am finding it difficult to formulate a rule for what works and what doesn't. Perhaps the linguistics specialists know of one.

It doesn't seem to work with anatomical things, nor work as well with tangible things such as a car of white wheels, though one could say a car of white appearance.

One can say A man of 6ft 4inches was seen to enter the open door but not a man of large ears sat in the chair.

But "of" following a noun to indicate possession is certainly alive and well in many everyday expressions.

  • Please would the dear lady or gentleman have the courtesy to say why they downvoted.
    – WS2
    Nov 10, 2021 at 6:33

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