Spick-and-span Definition

New or fresh.
Webster's New World
Neat and clean.
Webster's New World

(idiomatic) Alternative form of spick-and-span.


Origin of Spick-and-span

  • From spick-and-span-new (literally “new as a recently made spike and chip of wood") (1570s), from spick (“nail") (variant of spike) + Middle English span-new (“very new") (from circa 1300 until 1800s), from Old Norse span-nyr, from spann (“chip") (cognate to Old English spón, Modern English spoon, due to old spoons being made of wood) + nyr (“new") (cognate to Old English nÄ«we, Modern English new). Imitation of Dutch spiksplinter nieuw (literally “spike-splinter new") , for a freshly built ship. Observe that fresh woodchips are firm and light (if from light wood), but decay and darken rapidly, hence the origin of the term.

    From Wiktionary

  • Short for obsolete spick and span-new spick spike (variant of spike) span-new

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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