origin of ‘spick and span’

mid-17th cent. in the sense ‘brand new’—from ‘spick and span new’, extension of ‘span new’, from Old Norse ‘spán-nýr’, ‘as new as a freshly cut wooden chip’

Read More

origin of ‘point-blank’

1571—probably from obsolete French ‘de pointe en blanc’, used of firing into empty space for the purpose of seeing how far a piece of artillery would carry

Read More

meaning and origin of ‘old school tie’

UK, 1929—the attitudes, loyalties, values, etc., associated with British public schools—from the distinctive tie that indicates which school the wearer attended

Read More