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be spick and span

a place that is spick and span is very tidy and clean The kitchen was spick and span as ever, every surface wiped down and everything in its place.
See also: and, span, spick

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.
See also: and, span, spick

spic and span

Neat and clean. A “spick” was a nail (as in “spike”), “span” was a wood shaving, and a new wooden object had shiny spicks in it and fresh spans around it. Over the years the meaning of newness was replaced by that of something fresh and clean (as a new object usually was).
See also: and, span
References in classic literature ?
The Company had marched to the turn of the road ere Sir Nigel Loring rode out from the gateway, mounted on Pommers, his great black war-horse, whose ponderous footfall on the wooden drawbridge echoed loudly from the gloomy arch which spanned it.
A bridge spanned it midway and from there to its lower end, where an amber-hued belt of sand-hills shut it in from the dark blue gulf beyond, the water was a glory of many shifting hues--the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose and ethereal green, with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever been found.
She was sitting up in bed, writing letters on an invalid table that spanned her knees.
Beneath them the water slid foaming down a smooth-faced rock to the lip, whence it leaped clear--a pulsating ribbon of white, a-breath with movement, ever falling and ever remaining, changing its substance but never its form, an aerial waterway as immaterial as gauze and as permanent as the hills, that spanned space and the free air from the lip of the rock to the tops of the trees far below, into whose green screen it disappeared to fall into a secret pool.
Lobley mopped, and, arranging cushions, stretchers, and the like, danced the tight-rope the whole length of the boat like a man to whom shoes were a superstition and stockings slavery; and then came the sweet return among delicious odours of limes in bloom, and musical ripplings; and, all too soon, the great black city cast its shadow on the waters, and its dark bridges spanned them as death spans life, and the everlastingly-green garden seemed to be left for everlasting, unregainable and far away.
One of these wells was spanned by a flimsy bridge with iron handrails that felt warm to the touch as Raffles led the way across