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EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Greek soldiers roasting lambs for Easter using spits (sense 1) in 1958
A spit as a landform (sense 2): an aerial photograph of Farewell Spit at the northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand

Etymology 1Edit

The noun is from Middle English spit, spite, spete, spette, spyte, spytte (rod on which meat is cooked; rod used as a torture instrument; short spear; point of a spear; spine in the fin of a fish; pointed object; dagger symbol; land projecting into the sea), from Old English spitu (rod on which meat is cooked; spit),[1] from Proto-Germanic *spitō (rod; skewer; spike), *spituz (rod on which meat is cooked; stick), from Proto-Indo-European *spid-, *spey- (sharp; sharp stick). The English word is cognate with Danish spid, Dutch spit, German Low German Spitt (pike, spear; spike; skewer; spit), Swedish spett (skewer; spit; type of crowbar).

The verb is derived from the noun,[2] or from Middle English spiten (to put on a spit; to impale), from spit, spite: see above.[3] The English word is cognate with Middle Dutch speten, spitten (modern Dutch speten), Middle Low German speten (Low German spitten, modern German spießen (to skewer, to spear), spissen (now dialectal)).[2]

NounEdit

spit (plural spits)

  1. A thin metal or wooden rod on which meat is skewered for cooking, often over a fire.
    Synonym: broach
    • 1793, G. Hamilton, “[Appendix to the Tenth Volume of the Monthly Review Enlarged.] A Short Description of Carnicobar”, in The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal, Enlarged, volume X, London: Printed for R[alph] Griffiths; and sold by T[homas] Becket, [], OCLC 901376714, page 509:
      They roaſt a fowl, by running a piece of wood through it, by way of ſpit, and holding it over a briſk fire, until the feathers are burnt of, when it is ready for eating, in their taſte.
    • 1793, Arthur Young, “1788 [chapter]”, in Travels during the Years 1787, 1788 and 1789, Undertaken More Particularly with a View of Ascertaining the Cultivation, Wealth, Resources, and National Prosperity of the Kingdom of France. [] In Two Volumes, volume I, Dublin: Printed for Messrs. R. Cross, [], OCLC 1003870295, page 192:
      An Engliſh family in the country, [...] would receive you with an unquiet hoſpitality, and an anxious politeneſs; and after waiting for a hurry-ſcurry derangement of cloth, table, plates, ſideboard, pot and ſpit, would give you perhaps ſo good a dinner, that none of the family, between anxiety and fatigue, could ſupply one word of converſation, and you would depart under cordial wiſhes that you might never return.—This folly, ſo common in England, is never met with in France: [...]
    • 1817, [William Kitchiner], “Roasting”, in Apicius Redivivus; or, The Cook’s Oracle: [], London: Printed for Samuel Bagster, [], by J. Moyes, [], OCLC 606082028:
      When the joint to be roasted is thicker at one end than the other, place the spit slanting, so that the whole time the thickest part is nearest the fire, and also the thinnest by this means is preserved from being overmuch roasted.
    • 1950, James Hornell, “The Greatest Eel-farm and Eel-trap in the World”, in Fishing in Many Waters, 1st paperback edition, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: At the University Press, published 2014, →ISBN, page 166:
      The spits upon which the double sections of fish are transfixed are iron rods about 7 feet long, provided with an L-shaped handle at one end, so that when hung on a bracket at either side of the fireplace it may be turned by hand.
  2. A generally low, narrow, pointed, usually sandy peninsula.
    • 1843, William W[illiams] Mather, “Marine Alluvial Detritus”, in Geology of New-York (Natural History of New York; part 4), part I (Comprising the Geology of the First Geological District), Albany, N.Y.: Printed by Carroll & Cook, [], OCLC 642659056, page 28:
      Sand-spits are unfinished beaches, and long tongues or points of land, formed of sand and shingle, by the transporting action of currents and the waves. In Coldspring harbor, a sand-spit extends from the west shore, obliquely, nearly across. [...] The materials are transported by the currents and waves, and deposited to form this spit.
    • 1874, Robert Louis Stevenson, “Ordered South”, in Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers, London: C[harles] Kegan Paul & Co., [], published 1881, OCLC 504702577, page 147:
      Or perhaps he may see a group of washerwomen relieved, on a spit of shingle, against the blue sea, [...]
    • 2016, Robert C. Graham and A. Toby O’Geen, “Geomorphology and Soils”, in Harold Mooney and Erika Zavaleta, editors, Ecosystems of California, Oakland, Calif.: University of California Press, →ISBN, part 1 (Drivers), page 63, column 1:
      Playa margins are dominated by relict shoreline features, such as wave-cut terraces, depositional beach ridges, and offshore bars and spits.
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

spit (third-person singular simple present spits, present participle spitting, simple past and past participle spitted)

  1. (transitive) To impale on a spit; to pierce with a sharp object.
    to spit a loin of veal
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii], page 79, column 1:
      [W]hy in a moment looke to ſee / The blind and bloody Souldier, with foule hand / Deſire the Locks of your ſhrill-ſhriking Daughters: / Your Fathers taken by the ſiluer Bears, / And their moſt reuerend Heads daſht to the Walls: / Your naked Infants ſpitted vpon Pykes, / Whiles the mad Mothers, with their howles confus'd, / Doe breake the Clouds, [...] / What ſay you? Will you yeeld, and thus auoyd? / Or guiltie in defence, be thus destroy'd.
    • 1991, I. F. La Croix; E. A. S. La Croix; T. M. La Croix, “Malaŵi: Climate and Geography”, in Orchids of Malaŵi: The Epiphytic and Terrestrial Orchids from South and East Central Africa, Rotterdam; Brookfield, Vt.: A[ugust] A[imé] Balkema, →ISBN, page 4, column 2:
      Fried or roast mice, spitted on sticks like kebabs, are often offered for sale by the roadside.
    • 2012, Hilary Mantel, “Falcons: Wiltshire, September 1535”, in Bring Up the Bodies, London: Fourth Estate, →ISBN, part 1:
      [H]e has seen kitchens thrown into turmoil, and he himself has been down in the grey-green hour before dawn, when the brick ovens are swabbed out ready for the first batch of loaves, as carcasses are spitted, pots set on trivets, poultry plucked and jointed.
  2. (transitive) To use a spit to cook; to attend to food that is cooking on a spit.
    She’s spitting the roast in the kitchen.
    • 2005, Gary Alan Wassner, chapter 36, in The Twins, Port Orchard, Wash.: Windstorm Creative, →ISBN; republished London: Gateway, 2014, →ISBN:
      [H]e saw that the fires scattered all over the massive camp were emitting greasy fumes from the carcasses of the burning animals spitted over the flames.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

The verb is from Middle English spē̆ten, spete (to spit (blood, phlegm, saliva, venom, etc.); of a fire: to emit sparks), from Old English spǣtan (to spit; to squirt);[4] or from Middle English spit, spitte, spitten (to spit (blood, phlegm, saliva, venom, etc.); of a fire: to emit sparks), from Old English spittan, sypttan (to spit),[5][6] both from Proto-Germanic, from Proto-Indo-European *sp(y)ēw, *spyū,[7] ultimately imitative; compare Middle English spitelen (to spit out, expectorate)[8] and English spew.[9] The English word is cognate with Danish spytte (to spit), North Frisian spütte, Norwegian spytte (to spit), Swedish spotta (to spit), Old Norse spýta (Faroese spýta (to spit), Icelandic spýta (to spit)).[6]

The noun is derived from the verb;[10] compare Danish spyt (spit), Middle English spit, spitte (saliva, spittle, sputum),[11] spet (saliva, spittle),[12] spē̆tel (saliva, spittle),[13] North Frisian spiit.[10]

VerbEdit

spit (third-person singular simple present spits, present participle spitting, simple past and past participle spat or spit)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To evacuate (saliva or another substance) from the mouth, etc.
    Synonym: expectorate
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To emit or expel in a manner similar to evacuating saliva from the mouth; specifically, to rain or snow slightly.
    a hot pan spitting droplets of fat
    • 1834 October, “Boz” [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], “The Steam Excursion”, in Sketches by “Boz,” Illustrative of Every-day Life, and Every-day People. In Two Volumes, volume II, 2nd edition, London: John Macrone, [], published 1836, OCLC 912950347, page 310:
      It had been "spitting" with rain for the last half-hour, and now it began to pour in good earnest.
    • 1851 December 24, Henry David Thoreau, “December, 1851 (Æt[atis] 34)”, in Bradford Torrey, editor, The Writings of Henry David Thoreau: Journal, volume III (September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852), Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin and Company, published 1906, OCLC 84133896, page 153:
      It spits snow this afternoon. Saw a flock of snowbirds on the Walden road. I see them so commonly when it is beginning to snow that I am inclined to regard them as a sign of a snow-storm.
    • 2015 May, James Axler [pseudonym; Rik Hoskin], chapter 6, in Hell’s Maw (Outlanders; 73), Don Mills, Ont.: Gold Eagle Books, Worldwide Library, →ISBN, page 73:
      The wag zigzagged across the field, bumping over ruts in the soil and tangled grass as a stream of bullets followed them from the high-mounted railguns, spitting sparks from the metal sides of the wag.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To utter (something) violently.
  4. (transitive, slang, hip-hop) To rap, to utter.
  5. (intransitive) To make a spitting sound, like an angry cat.
Usage notesEdit

The past tense and past participle spit is an older form, but remains the more common form used by speakers in North America, and is also used often enough by speakers of British and Commonwealth English to be listed as an alternative form by the Collins English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries. A non-standard past participle form is spitten.

Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

spit (countable and uncountable, plural spits)

  1. (uncountable) Saliva, especially when expectorated.
    Synonyms: expectoration, spittle
    There was spit all over the washbasin.
    • 2010, Connie Colwell Miller, “How Spit Happens”, in The Slimy Book of Spit (The Amazingly Gross Human Body), Mankato, Minn.: Edge Books, Capstone Press, →ISBN, page 19:
      Sometimes your body doesn't make as much spit as it needs. When you sleep, your salivary glands take a bit of a snooze too. You're still making spit, but not as much. This is why your mouth feels dry when you wake up.
  2. (countable) An instance of spitting; specifically, a light fall of rain or snow.
    • 2015, Col Buchanan, “Return of the King”, in The Black Dream, London: Tor Books, →ISBN:
      It was early winter in the southern continent, a season of rain and winds and mud, and indeed coals in a nearby brazier hissed with a few spits of rain.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 3Edit

The noun is from Middle Dutch speet, spit, Middle Low German spêdt, spit (Low German spit); the word is cognate with Dutch spit, North Frisian spatt, spet, West Frisian spit.[14]

The verb is from Middle English spitten (to dig), from Old English spittan (to dig with a spade),[15] possibly from spitu (rod on which meat is cooked; spit); see further at etymology 1. The English word is cognate with Middle Dutch spetten, spitten (modern Dutch spitten), Middle Low German speten, spitten (Low German spitten), North Frisian spat, West Frisian spitte.[16]

NounEdit

spit (plural spits)

  1. The depth to which the blade of a spade goes into the soil when it is used for digging; a layer of soil of the depth of a spade's blade.
  2. The amount of soil that a spade holds; a spadeful.
    • 1795 March, Ezra L’Hommedieu, “Observations on Manures”, in Transactions of the Society, for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts and Manufactures, Instituted in the State of New-York, volume I, 2nd revised edition, Albany, N.Y.: Printed by Charles R. and George Webster, [], published 1801, OCLC 519802182, part III (Transactions, &c.), page 235:
      Dig your clay with a ſpade in ſpits of ordinary bricks; dig two, three, eight, ten or twenty loads of clay, more or leſs as you pleaſe; [...] then take theſe ſpits of clay, after they are tried in the ſun, ſurround your pile of wood with them, [...]
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

spit (third-person singular simple present spits, present participle spitting, simple past and past participle spitted)

  1. (transitive, dialectal) To dig (something) using a spade; also, to turn (the soil) using a plough.
    • 1769, “PLOUGH”, in The Complete Farmer: Or, A General Dictionary of Husbandry in All Its Branches; [], 2nd corrected and improved edition, London: Printed for R. Baldwin, [], OCLC 723457287, column 2:
      [T]he double plough, by taking faſt hold of the mould, throws all back again; and if the vegetables are not effectually earthed up, which may be the caſe after double ſpitting the intervals, then running the double plough over again, completes the buſineſs, and ſtrangely toſſes about and mellows the mould.
  2. (transitive, dialectal) To plant (something) using a spade.
    • 1882 May, J. Alexander Fulton, “Delaware Peach Orchards”, in Joseph H. Reall, editor, Agricultural Review and Journal of the American Agricultural Association, volume 2, number 2, New York, N.Y.: Agricultural Review Company, [], OCLC 5764181, page 124:
      When the [peach] seed is procured it is either "spitted in" with a spade or planted in rows in the nursery.
  3. (intransitive, dialectal) To dig, to spade.
    Synonym: delve
    • 1758 September 2–5, “A Course of Experiments and Improvements in Agriculture, []”, in The London Chronicle: Or, Universal Evening Post, volume IV, number 263, London: Sold by J. Wilkie, [], OCLC 37438463, page 219, column 1:
      We left the ground, of field of loam, by ſuppoſition under two ſorts of managements; the one part very rough, and the other made as fine as circumſtances would allow; the former ploughed the uſual depth, the other double ſpitted; [...]
    • 1882 May, J. Alexander Fulton, “Delaware Peach Orchards”, in Joseph H. Reall, editor, Agricultural Review and Journal of the American Agricultural Association, volume 2, number 2, New York, N.Y.: Agricultural Review Company, [], OCLC 5764181, page 124:
      Then the ground is "spitted" or spaded in about six or eight inches deep, as a garden is for a crop of vegetables.
TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ spit(e, n.(1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019; compare “spit, n.1”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1914, and “spit” in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 spit, v.1”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1914.
  3. ^ spiten, v.(1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019.
  4. ^ spē̆ten, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019.
  5. ^ spitten, v.(1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 21 March 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 spit, v.2”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1914.
  7. ^ John Ayto (1990) Dictionary of Word Origins, New York, N.Y.: Arcade Publishing, →ISBN.
  8. ^ spitelen, v.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019, derived from Middle English spitten.
  9. ^ spit” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.
  10. 10.0 10.1 spit, n.2”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1914.
  11. ^ spit(te, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019, derived from spitten (to spit).
  12. ^ spet, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019, derived from spē̆ten (to spit).
  13. ^ spē̆tel, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019.
  14. ^ spit, n.3”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1914.
  15. ^ spitten, v.(2)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 March 2019.
  16. ^ spit, v.3”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1914.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle Dutch spit. This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

spit n (plural spitten or speten, diminutive spitje n or speetje n)

  1. A skewer.
    Synonyms: braadspit, vleesspies, vleesspit

Related termsEdit


Tok PisinEdit

EtymologyEdit

From English speed.

NounEdit

spit

  1. speed

WestrobothnianEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle Low German spīt. Compare Old Norse spé, Norwegian spit, English spite, Dutch spijt. See also spej.

NounEdit

spit m

  1. Spite, defiance.
    Han åt int na i spit’n
    In defiance he ate nothing.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old Norse *spítr, from Proto-Germanic *spihtiz. Cognate with Old Norse spéttr, spætr, from *spihtaz, *spehtaz. Compare riit from *rihtijaną and witer from *wihtiz.

NounEdit

spit m

  1. (in compounds) Woodpecker.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

NounEdit

spit m

  1. Capacity.
DeclensionEdit
Related termsEdit