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90s Slang You Should Know


[kuhs-pi-dawr] /ˈkʌs pɪˌdɔr/
a large bowl, often of metal, serving as a receptacle for spit, especially from chewing tobacco: in wide use during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Origin of cuspidor
1770-80; < Portuguese: literally, spitter, equivalent to cusp(ir) to spit (≪ Latin conspuere to cover with spit; con- con- + spuere to spit1) + -idor < Latin -i-tōrium; see -i-, -tory2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cuspidor
Historical Examples
  • The squire nodded and spat into the cuspidor between his feet.

    Frank of Freedom Hill Samuel A. Derieux
  • Without a word the Sheriff dropped the coins into the cuspidor.

  • With that, the cuspidor shoots across the room and plows right through the wall.

    The Flying Cuspidors V. R. Francis
  • Lew Perkins sat in the corner on a shaky old apple barrel and brushed back his long mustaches to spit at the cuspidor—and miss it.

    The Seventh Man Max Brand
  • Now it was a cuspidor, now a fire-shovel for the little stove, now a China shaving mug.

    McTeague Frank Norris
  • Spitting on the floor was breaking a castiron rule, yet not a cuspidor was provided for that use.

    Broke Edwin A. Brown
  • "Dutch" scratched his head, and, to better conceal his emotion, let go another flyer of saliva at the cuspidor.

    By Right of Conquest Arthur Hornblow
  • Hume threw the butt of his finished cigar into a cuspidor and lit another one nonchalantly.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • His clothes were seedy, and his remarks punctuated by amber-colored shots at the cuspidor.

    The Incendiary W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • They would place a cuspidor on one side of your chair to catch the chicken bones, which you would spit out from your mouth.

British Dictionary definitions for cuspidor


another word (esp US) for spittoon
Word Origin
C18: from Portuguese, from cuspir to spit, from Latin conspuere, from spuere to spit
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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Word Origin and History for cuspidor

1779, a colonial word, from Portuguese cuspidor "spittoon," from cuspir "to spit," from Latin conspuere "spit on," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + spuere "to spit" (see spew).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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