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spick-and-span

[spik-uh n-span] /ˈspɪk ənˈspæn/
adjective
1.
spotlessly clean and neat:
a spick-and-span kitchen.
2.
perfectly new; fresh.
adverb
3.
in a spick-and-span manner.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; short for spick-and-span-new, alliterative extension of span-new
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for spick and span

spick-and-span

/ˈspɪkənˈspæn/
adjective
1.
extremely neat and clean
2.
new and fresh
Word Origin
C17: shortened from spick-and-span-new, from obsolete spick spike, nail + span-new
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with spick and span

spick and span

Neat and clean, as in When Ruth has finished cleaning, the whole house is spick and span. This term combines two nouns that are now obsolete, spick, “a nail” or “spike,” and span, “a wooden chip.” In the 1500s a sailing ship was considered spick and span when every spike and chip was brand-new. The transfer to the current sense took place in the mid-1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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13
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