Definition of spick and span in English:

spick and span

(also spic and span)


  • Neat, clean, and well looked after.

    ‘my little house is spick and span’
    • ‘When people see a vintage car driving on the road, few realise the years of work that keep it so spick and span.’
    • ‘Julian is so mad about vacs that he volunteers to clean up at his after-school club and always keeps the carpets spick and span at home.’
    • ‘I mean, I cleaned it daily, made sure everything was spick and span.’
    • ‘The day started with a quick clean of the monkey enclosure, washing windows and making sure the area was spick and span.’
    • ‘‘The mothers have done a great job because they're very neat and tidy’ and the new uniforms were all spic and span.’
    • ‘The school, as always, looked spic and span and all items for judgement were in their respective areas - green bins, plastic bins, recycling bins.’
    • ‘Not only this, the trash collection point behind was spick and span.’
    • ‘The Mounted Police should ride a clean cut and flat planed horse in keeping with the general spick and span appearance of their riders.’
    • ‘Even though he had cleaned the bathroom spick and span just now, it was still not enough for redemption!’
    • ‘The streets around the inner harbour are so spick and span that you feel you could eat your pancakes and maple syrup off them.’
    • ‘It's hoped that all residents will make an extra effort to have the village spick and span for Christmas.’
    • ‘These hospitals are enormously busy public areas with a lot of people moving around in them, and keeping them really clean and spick and span can be quite a difficult job.’
    • ‘The Community Forum urges everyone to participate in the clean-up day to keep our area spick and span.’
    • ‘A man with an eye for neatness around the place, Tom always ensured that things were spick and span.’
    • ‘On Monday morning the Tidy Towns volunteers were out picking up litter and keeping the area near the Town Hall spic and span.’
    • ‘The park's 25 staff, most of them seasonal, have been busy in the past few weeks ensuring the park is spick and span for the influx of visitors.’
    • ‘If you can bear it, try to leave a corner of your garden that is not spick and span.’
    • ‘Interior of Plunkett Railway Station: ‘In spite of this busy site's outmoded appearance, staff had kept it spick and span and litter-free.’’
    • ‘Our uniforms were neatly ironed and they were spic and span.’
    • ‘Marvellous work has been carried out by committee members, and the village is looking spic and span, with an array of beautiful hanging baskets and window boxes.’
    neat and tidy, as neat as a new pin, orderly, well ordered, in order, in good order, well kept, in apple-pie order, immaculate, uncluttered, straight, trim, spruce
    spotless, as fresh as paint
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘brand new’): from spick and span new, emphatic extension of dialect span new, from Old Norse spán-nýr, from spánn chip + nýr new; spick influenced by Dutch spiksplinternieuw, literally splinter new.


spick and span