One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a diamond or pearl) of the greatest brilliance and transparency.‘a gem of the first water’
- 1.1 Used to refer to a person or thing that is unsurpassed of their kind, typically in an undesirable way.‘she was a bore of the first water’
- ‘Most of the chat is innocuous and scene-specific, but if after watching this movie you really expected the guys who made it to provide cogent insights into the cinematic process, you're a cockeyed optimist of the first water.’
- ‘With scholarly depth and intellectual charity that refuse to impose spurious commonalities, this is ecumenical conversation of the first water.’
- ‘According to her description the losing candidate was a ‘lush,’ a falling down soaking drunk of the first water.’
- ‘Babbage was a polymath of the first water - he invented an opthalmoscope, worked on codes, picked locks, suggested the Penny Post, he invented a periscope and a submarine diving bell.’
- ‘I will just say, however, that anyone who gets a tattoo from another culture with that much resonance in that culture without every having met someone from that culture is a schmuck of the first water.’
- ‘He was wearing a baseball cap backwards, which marked him as what Syd called 'a jerk of the first water.'’
- ‘He was a complete jackass of the first water.’
- ‘This is a magickal artifact of the first water, so well known that it was credited as the device through which Dee divined the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.’
- ‘A lot of this is obviously down to the fact that these guys are players of the first water.’
- ‘This was comedy acting of the first water and the like of which is seldom seen nowadays.’
- 1.1 Used to refer to a person or thing that is unsurpassed of their kind, typically in an undesirable way.
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