spitball

[ spit-bawl ]
/ ˈspɪtˌbɔl /

noun

a small ball or lump of chewed paper used as a missile.
Also called spitter. Baseball. a pitch, now illegal, made to curve by moistening one side of the ball with saliva or perspiration.

Origin of spitball

An Americanism dating back to 1840–50; spit1 + ball1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Word Origin and History for spitball

spitball


n.

1846 in the schoolboy sense; 1905 in the baseball sense, from spit + ball (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper