I was watching the show The American Bible Challenge, and heard Jeff Foxworthy say:

They have written all the books of the Old Testament, all the books of the New Testament, the Ten Commandments, and I'm pretty sure the starting lineup to the Lakers on this right here.

The preposition to sounded kind of jarring here. I would've used of and said "the starting lineup of the Lakers." Google searches for "the starting lineup to" doesn't show much, while "the starting lineup of" seems to be much more common. Can to be used here at all?

  • Unrelated question: As he says "on this right here" is he pointing at or displaying something with writing on it? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 11 '18 at 15:57
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Yes, that's right. He unfolds a piece of paper towel as he says that. – Eddie Kal Aug 11 '18 at 16:04

Anecdotal evidence from someone who has lived in the US South for a short while, but has lived in Pennsylvania for most of his life: I would consider to something of a southernism in that particular locution.

Here is the starting lineup to the 1984 Talladega 500.

But to can indeed express the notion of integral relationship, part-to-whole:

What's that you have in your hand?
--It's the propellor to the model airplane Billy's putting together.

--It's the outer foam cover to an earbud.

-- It's the portafilter to an Italian espresso machine made in the 1960s for home use.

--It's a sheet of paper with the starting lineup to the Lakers.


Either could be used, although 'starting lineup of' is currently the more popular phrase of the two. However, my immediate thought on reading this was that I would have used 'starting lineup for'. I ran an Ngram on all three phrases and 'starting linup for' is the most popular of the three. I have restricted Ngram to American English as this is a question that has an American context. Ngram

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