Saturday, July 23, 2005

Okay... here is the idiom answer to suposedly where it came from!

spick and span

Neat and clean, as in When Ruth has finished cleaning, the whole house is spick and span. This term combines two nouns that are now obsolete, spick, “a nail” or “spike,” and span, “a wooden chip.” In the 1500s a sailing ship was considered spick and span when every spike and chip was brand-new. The transfer to the current sense took place in the mid-1800s.

3 Comments:

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Justin Lee said...

Interesting!

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger traceofblistex said...

yeah, I thought it was weird!

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous mandy said...

I found this explination a few places and thought you would like to see it

spick and span - completely clean and in a new condition (normally describing a construction of some sort) - was originally 'spick and span new', and came from a shipbuilding metaphor, when a 'spic' was a spike or nail, and chip a piece of wood. The original expression meant that the thing was new even down to these small parts.

 

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