spit and polish

spit and polish
noun Etymology: from the practice of polishing objects such as shoes by spitting on them and then rubbing them with a cloth Date: 1895 extreme attention to cleanliness, orderliness, smartness of appearance, and ceremony often at the expense of operational efficiency • spit-and-polish adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • spit and polish — /spit n pol ish/, adj. great care in maintaining smart appearance and crisp efficiency: The commander was concerned more with spit and polish than with the company s morale. * * * …   Universalium

  • spit and polish — ► spit and polish thorough cleaning and polishing. Main Entry: ↑spit …   English terms dictionary

  • spit and polish — n. formal or ceremonial, sometimes superficial, orderliness, neatness, or preciseness, as in the military …   English World dictionary

  • spit-and-polish — | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ adjective : marked by spit and polish embassies abroad could not do without their spit and polish doormen New York Times a full time professional soldier, of the old spit and polish school Evelyn Eaton …   Useful english dictionary

  • spit and polish — noun careful attention to order and appearance (as in the military) • Topics: ↑military, ↑armed forces, ↑armed services, ↑military machine, ↑war machine • Hypernyms: ↑orderliness, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • spit and polish — n. orderliness; ceremonial precision and orderliness. □ I like spit and polish. It comes from being in the military. □ There is no such thing as too much spit and polish …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • spit and polish — cleaning and rubbing. All it needed was a bit of spit and polish and we got it looking as good as new …   New idioms dictionary

  • spit-and-polish — adjective see spit and polish …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • spit-and-polish — See spit and polish. * * * …   Universalium

  • spit and polish — spit′ and pol′ish n. great care in maintaining smart appearance and crisp efficiency spit′ and pol′ish, adj …   From formal English to slang

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