One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounin phrase on spec
In the hope of success but without any specific commission or instructions.‘he built the factory on spec and hoped someone would buy it’
- ‘The article was being written on spec with no guarantee of publication.’
- ‘I wrote my first book on spec, sent it off to nearly 100 publishers and in six weeks I had my first offer.’
- ‘Byrnes designed this 5,400-square-foot house on spec using his family as theoretical homeowners.’
- ‘By developing a product on spec for military use, device companies can pave the way toward later success in the private sector.’
- ‘Bedfont Lakes Hotel was developed on spec near London's Heathrow Airport but designed specifically for its unique site.’
Late 18th century: abbreviation of speculation.
- ‘I'll have to look at the specs on the equipment’short for specification (sense 2 of the noun)as modifier ‘our spec chart indicates a transmission speed of 9 seconds’
- ‘The difference between original and amended specs seems negligible.’
- ‘I'd have to see your shuttle first, and depending on the specs, I might be able to help you.’
- ‘Time to talk technical specs says Nathan Rippin.’
- ‘In December, the specs will be submitted to the ISO.’
- ‘Although it's possible to get a house built from basic drawings, a set of detailed specs is an insurance policy against confusion and even contractor fraud.’
- ‘The specs on the computer had to be top of the line’
- ‘Consumers seems to be less interested in low prices as more features and higher system specs.’
- ‘the technology is consistent across all three sets of specs.’
- ‘I think seeing specs and then the actual dimensions in the flesh are quite separate things.’
- ‘The original spec for the Pentium 4 sure as heck made it a Xeon class processor.’
- ‘Keep the costs down, agree a detailed spec with your designer up-front.’
- ‘Those servers were state-of-the-art for uptime specs.’
Give (something) a particular specification; construct to a specified standard.‘the range allows buyers to spec their truck to their needs’
- ‘Its machines are usually specced better than the average for the price.’
- ‘Each machine is currently specced to 64MB of memory.’
- ‘When is the last time you spec'd a whitebox without even looking at vendor quotes?’
- ‘Someone's already speccing the code and writing the business plan.’
1950s: abbreviation of specification.
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