Spic and span.

What does "Spic and span." mean?

Today it means: Good as new, clean and tidy, pristine.

Originally, it referred to a newly built ship. A "spic" was a spike and a "span" was a length of timber and both are essential to shipbuilding and these items would look shiny and new on a newly constructed ship. So, when it came to cleaning the ship throughout its life then the same was expected and so it became a term for a clean ship.

   

By SailingQuiz October 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              



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There are 423 other nautical phrases, sayings and sailing terms listed on this website today. "Spic and span." is just one of them. Many have been around for years and have entered our everyday use; but do you know what they mean and where they came from? This is where you find out.

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What does Spic and span. mean?

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