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Dead Ringers and Spitten Images

Two familiar terms that have inspired lots of bogus etymologies are “dead ringer” and “spitting image.” “Dead ringer” probably comes from horse racing, where a ringer is a horse that may look like other horses in...

spit sock

spit sock  n.— «A 26-year-old Castle Rock man who was arrested on suspicion of DUI March 13 had to be restrained with a spit sock and ankle bracelets after he became irate with an officer while being arrested.…He also spat on the...

cell warrior

cell warrior  n.— «Among prison guards, Tavares became known as a loud-mouthed malcontent who spat at guards passing his cell, tossed feces or urine at them, and made violent threats. “He was what guys refer to as a cell...

plaster out

plaster out  v. phr.— «I just want to let you know that we got potentially four guys over the line out here. I don’t know how long they’re going to be here. The last couple of days they’ve plastered out of here by noon.» —“Interstate...

handbags at ten paces

handbags at ten paces n. a verbal spat, usually between athletes on the field of play. Editorial Note: Probably related to any number of Monty Python sketches which have the actors dressed in drag, battling each other with handbags, such as in...

paleoconservative

paleoconservative  n.— «Scenes like the “High Society Cake Walk” production number and FDR’s spat with his haughty paleoconservative mother after his conversion to Eleanor’s liberal way of thinking provoked spontaneous applause...