phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Spit and image

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 06, 2005

In Reply to: Spitting Image posted by Gail Lamont on January 06, 2005

: Over the years I've heard many people use the phrase "spitting image" to mean you greatly resembled someone. I think the original phrase may have been somewhat different. My Grandfather used to say that I was the "spirit and image" of my deceased Grandmother, which I think makes much more sense.

Enter your phrase, or some version of it, in the box labeled "Search this site", and you will find several explanations. The OED regards "Spit and image" as the original form, and says of spit, "3. the very spit of, the exact image, likeness, or counterpart of (a person, etc.)." Under "spit and image" it indicates that "spitten image," "spitting image," and "splitting image" are later forms. It cites the above use of "spit" from 1825 and later. SS