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Spitting Image

Posted by Bruce Kahl on August 10, 1999

In Reply to: Spitting Image posted by Steve McElroy on August 09, 1999

: Origin of spitting image

I have always accepted the "spit" element of the phrase at face value, and maintain that it is a remarkably inelegant metaphor for similarity: "just as if one person were spit out of another's mouth." A similar saying in French, "C'est son pere tout crache" ("He is his father's spit and image"), lends support to this theory, as do earlier English sayings with the same meaning, such as "the very spit of," which appeared around 1825.

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