Spick and Span (Origin)

Our Story

Search...

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Spick and Span"?

The term spick and span means brand new. This term has a nautical origin. Spick meant nails (or spike) and span meant wooden shavings. On a new sailing ship, the nails would still be shiny and the wooden shavings from manufacture would still be present. Therefore, a new ship would be all spick and span.

Previous and Next Sayings

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs