Origins #8: Spittin’ Image

As with many of the “Origin” series, we know what they mean but we have no idea why the mean what they mean. To be a “spittin’ image” means to be just like something else – but why?

This phrase is a corruption of “spirit and image”, which was coined by early Americans to describe a relative who both looked and had the disposition of another family member. The phrase was used so frequently that in the South it was phonetically contracted to “spittin’ image” while holding onto the original meaning.


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