verb (used with object), spad·ed, spad·ing.
- in the extreme; positively: He's a hypocrite, in spades.
- without restraint; outspokenly: I told him what I thought, in spades.
Origin of spade1
- (used with a singular or plural verb)the suit so marked: Spades is trump. Spades count double.
- (used with a plural verb)Casino.the winning of seven spades or more.
Origin of spade2
Examples from the Web for spade
Contemporary Examples of spade
Because it is, as Spade and Wilse say, a “tool of social control used by governments to regulate sexuality and family formation.”Were Christians Right About Gay Marriage All Along?
May 27, 2014
But there are four other published Spade stories out there, and it would be nice to have them between covers in one volume.The Man With Stories to Tell
December 8, 2013
The administration refused to budge on calling a spade a spade.Time To Cut Off Egypt
August 14, 2013
“We need someone to call a spade a shovel,” said the second guy, referring to Obama.Rick Santorum’s Blue-Collar Fumble
March 7, 2012
Showing a picture of Murphy, Spade quipped, “Look, children, a falling star ... quick, make a wish.”Eddie Murphy's Road to Redemption
November 2, 2011
Historical Examples of spade
Here, professor, throw off that coat and nglig manner, and grasp this spade.In the Midst of Alarms
When a man struck some new thing with his spade, he called out.Buried Cities: Pompeii, Olympia, Mycenae
She called a spade a spade, and liked frankness and no under meaning to things.My Double Life
Then lift each plant with a spade or mattock slowly and skillfully.The Mayflower, January, 1905
"Not one," said the Prince, leaning on his spade in despair.Prince Vance
- an object or part resembling a spade in shape
- (as modifier)a spade beard
Word Origin for spade
- the black symbol on a playing card resembling a heart-shaped leaf with a stem
- a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl) the suit of cards so marked, usually the highest ranking of the four
Word Origin for spade
"tool for digging," Old English spadu, from Proto-Germanic *spadon (cf. Old Frisian spada, Middle Dutch spade, Old Saxon spado, Middle Low German spade, German Spaten), from PIE *spe- "long, flat piece of wood" (cf. Greek spathe "wooden blade, paddle," Old English spon "chip of wood, splinter," Old Norse spann "shingle, chip").
To call a spade a spade "use blunt language, call things by right names" (1540s) translates a Greek proverb (known to Lucian), ten skaphen skaphen legein "to call a bowl a bowl," but Erasmus mistook Greek skaphe "trough, bowl" for a derivative of the stem of skaptein "to dig," and the mistake has stuck.
"figure on playing cards," 1590s, probably from Italian spade, plural of spada "sword, spade," from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)). Phrase in spades "in abundance" first recorded 1929 (Damon Runyon), probably from bridge, where spades are the highest-ranking suit.
The invitations to the musicale came sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes. [O.Henry, "Cabbages & Kings," 1904]
Derogatory meaning "black person" is 1928, from the color of the playing card symbol.
see call a spade a spade; do the spadework; in spades.