Stonecrusher considered both of them to be slow of the mind except in fights. (book)

This use of the preposition "of" sounds nonidiomatic to me, but I wonder if it is a dated use. This sentence from a book isn't the only instance where I have seen it used like this. I also encountered "slow of the mind" a few times before. I recall similar phrasing in the Bible:

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: (Luke 24:25, KJV)

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:25, ESV)

What is this use of "of"? Does it still have currency in British English or any other English varieties?

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    It's just a way of saying an adjective and giving its range. Saying someone is slow of mind is like saying they have a slow mind. Prepositions like of don't have any meanings; they just show up in the machinery, like gears and washers. Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 19:47
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    The of is normal, but here should not be a the: slow of mind, slow of heart... Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


The use od "of" in this expression and others (for instance "slow of wit", and "slow of step") must be very rare. The research "slow of the" gives only false positives.

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slow of mind

It is best to consider as unidiomatic the use of "the" in all such expressions.

Added by user 66974

slow of speech


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