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Re: I see spades

Posted by Graham Cambray on March 03, 2009 at 01:10

In Reply to: I see spades posted by Marcus K. on March 02, 2009 at 20:38:

: I was looking for the origin of the phrase: "I see spades" or "he sees spades." I was under the impression that it meant to be angry.

: I googled it and couldn't find any good information on origin. I also perused the forums here and found a lot of spades phrases related to bridge.

: Could it be the case that if a person "saw spades", it meant they lost the game of bridge and thus became angry over it? This seems possible, can anyone confirm or give a better origin?

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I don't know if this will help at all, but my initial reaction was to think of the variant phrase "When I see a spade, I call it a spade" - from Oscar Wilde's play "The Importance of Being Earnest". Obviously this has more to do with bluntness than anger - so this may quite possibly have no relevance to your question. If it *does* have relevance, then you will want to look at http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/call-a-spade-a-spade.html, one of the short articles on this site. (GC)