first off


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Adv.1.first off - before anything else; "first we must consider the garter snake"
References in classic literature ?
Well, the man was astonished, of course; and first off he looked like he didn't know whether to be scared, or glad, or both, or which, but finally he settled down to being glad; and then his color come back, though at first his face had turned pretty white.
He sat down at once, and with an evidently accustomed movement slipped the straps of his wallet first off one shoulder and then off the other.
First off, I flew thirty yards, and then fouled an Irishman and brought him down - brought us both down, in fact.