Hello:
Is this "tea of an afternoon" an idiomatic expression, similar to "five o'clock tea"? Is it more AmE than BrE?
I originally found it in:

Supposing that you should come upon us sitting together at one of the little tables in front of the club house, let us say, at Homburg, taking TEA OF THE AFTERNOON and watching the miniature golf, you would have said that, as human affairs go, we were an extraordinarily safe castle.
(Ford Maddox Ford, The Good Soldier, 1915, p. 13)

when I initially thought it's probably just a case of old-fashioned usage, one perhaps being able to say in the context:

" ... taking tea in the afternoon and watching ..." or
" ... taking tea one afternoon and watching ..."
or
" ... taking tea during afternoon and watching ..."

but it is still present in some modern Web pages, perhaps as a reference to a lifestyle of leisure. Is this the suggestion?

Thanks,
Marius Hancu
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Hello: Is this "tea of an afternoon" an idiomatic expression, similar to "five o'clock tea"? Is it more AmE than BrE?

I think that the relevant phrase is "of an afternoon", meaning approximately "in the afternoons", in a sentence describing a customary activity. (Of course, afternoon could be replace by morning, night or any other indicator of a period of the day.)
For example:
"The five men were very close friends. They worked in different nearby towns. However, of a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar.

Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from a.e.u)
Is this "tea of an afternoon" an idiomatic expression, similar to

Is this "tea of an afternoon" an idiomatic expression, similar to "five o'clock tea"? Is it more AmE than BrE?

I think that the relevant phrase is "of an afternoon", meaning approximately "in the afternoons", in a sentence describing a customary activity. (Of course, afternoon could be replace by morning, night or any other indicator of a period of the day.)

I was aware of this usage of "of", however, wasn't sure in this case.

Indeed,
a search with:
"of the afternoon" dictionary
at Yahoo
gave me these examples from Shakespeare:

http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/of
12. During; in the course of.

Not be seen to wink of all the day. Shak.
My custom always of the afternoon. Shak.

while
"tea of the afternoon" dictionary
gave me much less relevant search results.
Thank you for putting the focus where it should have been.
For example: "The five men were very close friends. They worked in different nearby towns. However, of a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar."

Just curious, could "on" replace "of" in your example for: "However, on a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar?"

Thank you,
Marius Hancu
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For example: "The five men were very close friends. They ... a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar."

Just curious, could "on" replace "of" in your example for: "However, on a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar?"

Yes. I think that "on" (or "at") would be much more common than "of", particularly in conversation.
To me, "of" seems literary and is possibly becoming archaic. That is just a personal impression.

Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from a.e.u)
Hello: Is this "tea of an afternoon" an idiomatic expression, similar to "five o'clock tea"? Is it more AmE than BrE?

I think that the relevant phrase is "of an afternoon", meaning approximately "in the afternoons", in a sentence describing a ... close friends. They worked in different nearby towns. However, of a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar.

That "of an afternoon/evening" construction is found often in the Midlands and north of England. It means that the activity referred to was fairly regular.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
I think that the relevant phrase is "of an afternoon", ... a weekday evening they could be found in Jimmy's Bar.

That "of an afternoon/evening" construction is found often in the Midlands and north of England. It means that the activity referred to was fairly regular.

"Tea of an afternoon" is not American at all. "Five o'clock tea" isn't either. Nor "four o'clock tea." Americans don't do tea; we have "coffee breaks." At least, back when bosses were strict, not allowing anything to drink or eat at an employee's desk (and some not allowing conversation that wasn't about the work), we did.

Cece
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That "of an afternoon/evening" construction is found often in the Midlands and north of England. It means that the activity referred to was fairly regular.

"Tea of an afternoon" is not American at all. "Five o'clock tea" isn't either. Nor "four o'clock tea." Americans don't ... to drink or eat at an employee's desk (and some not allowing conversation that wasn't about the work), we did.

Cece, there are things in life other than work, thank goodness. I've had cups of 'tea' in America on several occasions, and some of them were real tea in tea bags. Sometimes they were made with water that was almost too hot to dip one's finger in.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
"Tea of an afternoon" is not American at all. "Five ... not allowing conversation that wasn't about the work), we did.

Cece, there are things in life other than work, thank goodness. I've had cups of 'tea' in America on several ... tea in tea bags. Sometimes they were made with water that was almost too hot to dip one's finger in.

Astonishingly, the best tea I ever had in a restaurant was in San Francisco, a short walk from the Opera House. I regret to this day that I didn't ask the brand of the excellent Earl Grey I was served in a proper tea pot with not a bag in sight.

David
==
Sometimes they were made with water that was almost too hot to dip one's finger in.

ROFL!
Cheers,
Daniel.
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