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[spair-ribz] /ˈspɛərˌrɪbz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
a cut of meat from the rib section, especially of pork or beef, with some meat adhering to the bones.
a dish of this meat, usually baked, roasted, or barbecued with a pungent sauce.
Origin of spareribs
1590-1600; transposed variant of earlier ribspare < Middle Low German ribbespēr rib cut; compare obsolete spare a cut, slice Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for spare ribs

1590s, from spare (adj.) meaning "absence of fat," or perhaps from Middle Low German ribbesper "spare ribs," from sper "spit," from Proto-Germanic *speru, from PIE *sper- "pole, spear," related to spar (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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