spick-and-span

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Clean, spotless; original sense "like new".

Etymology:

  • From spick-and-span-new, from spick + Middle English span-new, from Old Norse span-nyr, from spann + nyr. Imitation of Dutch spiksplinter nieuw , for a freshly built ship. Observe that fresh woodchips are firm and light, but decay and darken rapidly, hence the origin of the term.
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I mopped up the kitchen floor so it was spick-and-span.

Submitted on July 07, 2010

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to spick-and-span

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"spick-and-span." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Jul 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/spick-and-span_15036>.

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