This question is about the times when you want to use two different nouns to describe the same thing. Some examples, all of which may be used in a sentence of the form "He has X":

  • a broomstick for a curtain pole
  • toast for breakfast
  • this pisstake of a salary
  • some skank of a mistress

In each case, I believe I have chosen the right preposition, but feel free to correct me. I am trying to see if there's any kind of rule to determine if the preposition in between should be "for" or "of". Is there any rhyme or reason?

1 Answer 1


An X for a Y = an X as, or in place of, a Y. The broomstick was being used instead of a proper curtain pole.

An X of a Y = a Y which can be described as X.

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