first and last

Idioms & Phrases

first and last

Under all circumstances, always, as in She was an artist first and last. (For a synonym, see above all.) This expression, first recorded in 1589, should not be confused with the similar-sounding from first to last, which means "from start to finish" or "throughout," as in We cheered them on from first to last.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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