on spec



Abbreviation of on speculation.


on spec (not comparable)

  1. In hope of success, using one's best guess
    • 1889, Banjo Paterson, Clancy of the Overflow
      I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
      Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
      He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
      Just on spec, addressed as follows, “Clancy, of The Overflow”.
  2. (colloquial, business, of creating a work) With the hope of selling it, as opposed to on commission (for hire).
    I'm writing an article on spec. I hope some magazine will buy it.
    • 1955, Rex Stout, "The Next Witness", in Three Witnesses, October 1994 Bantam edition, ISBN 0553249592, page 36:
      "Why doubt his guilt?"
      Wolfe's shoulders went up a fraction of an inch, and down again. "Divination. Contrariety."
      "I see." Unger pursed his midget mouth, which didn't need pursing. "You're shooting at it on spec."


Last modified on 12 October 2013, at 13:09