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the spitting image of (someone)
One who looks exactly like someone else. Wow, you are just the spitting image of your mother! I was about to call you by her name.
be the spitting image of (someone)
To look exactly like someone else. Wow, you are just the spitting image of your mother! I was about to call you by her name.
*spit and image of someoneand *the spitting image of someone
the very likeness of someone; a very close resemblence to someone. (*The second version is a frequent error. *Typically: be ~; look like ~.) John is the spit and image of his father. At first, I thought you were saying "spitting image."
A precise resemblance, especially in closely related persons. For example, Dirk is the spitting image of his grandfather. This idiom alludes to the earlier use of the noun spit for "likeness," in turn probably derived from an old proverb, "as like as one as if he had been spit out of his mouth" (c. 1400). The current idiom dates from about 1900.
the spitting image
If you say that one person is the spitting image of another, you mean that the first person looks exactly like the second. He is the spitting image of his father. Now Nina looks the spitting image of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Note: People occasionally use the spit and image or the dead spit to mean the same thing. Six-month-old Caleb is the spit and image of his daddy. He was handsome — the dead spit of Tikhonov, the film actor. Note: The origin of this expression is uncertain, but it may have developed from `spirit and image'. If one person was the spirit and image of another, they were alike both in character and physical appearance.