a power of...

Ume

Banned
Japanese
Hello.

My holiday at the seaside did me a lot of good.
My holiday at the seaside did me a power of good.


These two mean the same, doesn't it? Do you say "a power of..." in place of "a lot of..."?
 
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Do you say "a power of..." in place of "a lot of..."?

    I don't. But it sounds like it might be some sort of dialectal phrase, similar to "a passle of...."
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    "A power of" is common in British English - it means the same as "a lot of", but perhaps with slightly more force.

    These two mean the same, doesn't it?
    Small point - you're talking about two things, so it should be "don't they?"
     

    gratuitous

    New Member
    English - U.S.
    Thanks, El escoces. I'm not denying the phrase's existence. I was just stating my own ignorance of it. It makes wonderful sense (I relate it mentally to the mathematical "power") and maybe I'll use it on my fellow Americans.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm glad to see that this expression is more widespread than I thought.
    I had the notion that it was a Northern Irish idea.
    Happy to share :)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Google books turns up a citation from Dickens:
    It was glorious, and did me a power of good; leastways, I think it would have done if I had stuck to the one bottle. (1868/9) All the Year Round: A Weekly Journal.
    And another from a southern (US) literary magazine:
    Upon being questioned as to his health and peculiar appearance, Pat replied — "That was a beautiful medicine, ye gave me, and did me a power of good. ... (1855 -58) Supplement to the Courant.
    I associate "a power of good" with a southern dialect, but I am not certain it is correct to do this.
     

    Ume

    Banned
    Japanese
    Do you say "do something a hell of good" in place of "do something a lot of good" in informal speech?
     
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