General Question

Trance24's avatar

Where did the saying "Spit spot" come from?

Asked by Trance24 (3299 points ) January 2nd, 2009

Mary Popins says it a lot in the movie, but I have herd it other places. I know what it means but was curious where it came from. Any ideas?

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7 Answers

scamp's avatar

I’ve never heard it outside of the Mary Poppins movie.

Trance24's avatar

@bythebay – you do not need to tell me what I already know. It was not originally formed there contrary to common/ urban dictionary belief. My Great-grand mother used to use the phrase long before Marry Poppins ever existed. So I am trying to figure out the true roots of it, and why the phrase is used as such.

bythebay's avatar

@Trance24: How in the world am I supposed to guess at what you already know? Nowhere in your question did you mention that you had heard it PRIOR to the movie. Did your Great-Grandmother carry a magic carpet bag and slide down banisters, too? Sorry for offending your sensibilities.

Trance24's avatar

Excuse me if I came off rude bythebay that was no my intention. Your retaliation in insulting my great-grand mother however was kind of uncalled for.

nebule's avatar

fwiw i was going to say mary poppins too eek

ThomasInTexas's avatar

Old time British nannies would use rhyming phrases when giving orders to the children. The idea: the rhyme captured the child’s attention. For example, they would say, ‘Apples and pears, up the stairs’ to tell the child to go upstairs. Over time, the phrase was shortened and the rhyme dropped. The nanny would just say ‘Apples and pears now’ instead to say it is time go upstairs.

Using this reasoning, and I am just speculating, the original rhyming phrase may have been ‘Spit spot, on the dot’ instead of saying ‘hurry up, do it now’. Over time, the phrase was shortened and the rhyme dropped.

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