Origin of spick-and-span
British Dictionary definitions for spick and span
Word Origin for spick-and-span
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.