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Word of the day: Spick and Span

Average: 3.9 (12 votes)

Adjective: spick and span (also spick-and-span, spic and span)

Today, this expression means ‘neat and tidy’. Years ago, however, it meant ‘brand new’. ‘Span’ was the word used for wood shavings, and if anything made of wood still had wood shavings on it, it was obviously new (or ‘span’ new, as they used to say). A spick, on the other hand, was a nail. New spicks were shiny and clean, which is where the expression as we use it today comes from!

"The council spends a lot of money keeping the town spick and span."

"She's always cleaning because she likes her home to be spick and span."

"Thomas looks great in his spick and span new uniform."

Now give us some example sentences using spick and span!

Link: Idiom of the day 'Jump the Shark'