Posted by Smokey Stover on March 31, 2008 at 18:21:
In Reply to: Hits the spot posted by Melissa on March 31, 2008 at 11:20:
: Why do we say something "hits the spot" when it is satisfying?
Pepsi-Cola hits the spot,
Twelve full ounces, that's a lot. . .
The expression came into use long before that well-known ad, at least by 1868, according to the O.E.D., which says of hit the spot (and similarly go to or touch the spot), "to be exactly what is required, 'to fit the bill' (said esp. of food or drink). colloq. (chiefly U.S.). [Example:]
1868 Putnam's Mag. I. 670/1 'I hope that last corjul [sc. cordial] set you up?' 'Yes, Mr. Plunkitt, it went right to the spot.'"
Why spot? You might think of it as hitting the RIGHT spot, reaching the desired target. Nowadays we talk of pushing someone's buttons, meaning to find and press exactly those sensitive points that make us angry or emotional. Perhaps "the spot" is the inverse of this, the point that makes us feel good, that satisfies us, our "comfort" spot.