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bright spark

A person who is regarded as clever or intelligent. The term can also be used sarcastically to mean the opposite. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, New Zealand. Timmy's the bright spark of the family—he graduated at the top of his class. Some bright spark at the auto repair shop forgot to tighten the lugnuts on my wheels after he rotated my tires.
See also: bright, spark

spark plug

One who energizes others with one's ideas and positive personality. Primarily heard in US. Kelly was the spark plug the company needed to get their new project off the ground.
See also: plug, spark

spark spread

The income made by selling electricity, after the cost of the fuel used to produce the electricity has been subtracted. We need to analyze the spark spread, to determine if the electrical plant can stay open.
See also: spark, spread

spark something off

1. Lit. to ignite something flammable or explosive. The lightning sparked afire off. The match sparked off a raging inferno.
2. Fig. to cause or start some violent or energetic activity. We were afraid there would be a riot and the speaker nearly sparked it off. The speaker sparked off quite a discussion.
See also: off, spark

make the sparks fly

Start a fight or argument, as in If Mary finds out he went to the races without her, that will make the sparks fly. In this idiom, the small particles of a fire called sparks are transferred to an inflammatory situation. [Early 1900s]
See also: fly, make, Sparks

a bright spark

mainly BRITISH
A bright spark is a clever person. But the girl from Dublin is not just a pretty face. The bright spark is studying archaeology and the history of art at UCD. Some bright spark at the club seems to think that the best way to attract young fans is to turn the football stadium into a theme park for the day. Note: This expression is usually used to mean the opposite, referring humorously to a person with stupid ideas.
See also: bright, spark

bright spark

a clever person (often used ironically to or of a person who has done something you consider stupid). British informal
See also: bright, spark

(a) bright ˈspark

(British English, informal, often ironic) a lively and intelligent person: What bright spark (= stupid person) left the front door open all night?
See also: bright, spark

spark off

1. To ignite some fire: Forest rangers think that a cigarette sparked off the blaze. After the fire was extinguished, investigators tried to determine what sparked it off.
2. To set something in motion; trigger something: The assassination sparked off a revolution. Historians disagree about what sparked the riot off.
See also: off, spark

spark up

1. To initiate some conversation, friendship, or debate: On the train, I sparked up a conversation with the person next to me. The trial sparked a debate up over free speech.
2. To light some cigarette, cigar, or similar product: He lit a match and sparked up his pipe. She took a cigar from the case and sparked it up. The smokers went outside to spark up.
See also: spark, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Horizonte 3 (H3): no representa cambio litologico, sirviendo como horizonte de correlacion entre el perfilador sparker y sismica 2D.
Ospreys: G Henson (J Spratt 37);T Bowe, SParker, A Bishop (D Biggar 69), S Williams; J Hook, J Nutbrown(MPhillips 53);PJames(C Griffiths 79), R Hibbard (H Bennett 58),A Jones, I Gough (AW Jones 25),ALloyd (F Tiatia 62), T Smith, R Jones (capt),M Holah.
Ospreys: L Byrne (D Biggar 63); T Bowe, SParker, A Bishop, NWalker(S Williams 40); J Hook, RWells (R Wells 70); P James, RHibbard (E Shervington 63), A Jones (C Griffiths 52), I Gough, A Wyn Jones (S Tandy 48), J Thomas (T Smith 73), MHolah, F Tiatia (A Jones 61-70)
WALES: M Stoddart (Scarlets); MJones (Scarlets), SParker (Ospreys), GHenson (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Blues);J Hook (Ospreys), D Peel (Scarlets);G Jenkins (Blues,capt), H Bennett (Ospreys), R Thomas (Dragons), A-WJones (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), C Charvis (Dragons), R Sowden-Taylor(Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys).
Archers Sparker made it a clean sweep for the locals with a game success in heat three.
Ever stood in the rain at an organised do (the only places where fireworks should be allowed), watched the fire for a bit, gone "ooh" at the rockets, watched a sparker fizzle out, paid over the odds for a burger and thought: "Why do we bother?
We suggest savoring the spicy, complex flavors of this sparker as an aperitif or pairing it with richer dishes like roasted game or a terrine of foie gras.
Kansas City Probable starting offence LT W Roaf 77, LG BWaters 54, C CWiegmann 62, RG W Shields 68, RT J Welbourn 76, WR EKennison 87, SParker 18, RB LJohnson 27, FB TRichardson 49, QB TGreen 10, TE TGonzalez 88.
A geophysical survey consisting of a fathometer, side-scan sonar and a sparker survey was conducted by Watson Geophysics.
Probable starting defence LE RSeymour 93, DT VWilfork 75, RE TWarren 94, LB W McGinest 55, CBrown 98, T Bruschi 54, M Vrabel 50, CB ASamuel 22, E Hobbs 27, SS J Sanders 36, FS EWilson 26 Kansas City Probable starting offence LT W Roaf 77, LG BWaters 54, C CWiegmann 62, RG W Shields 68, RT J Black 65, WR EKennison 87, SParker 18, RB LJohnson 27, FB TRichardson 49, QB TGreen 10, TE TGonzalez 88.
Two cup replays took place and a hat - trick from SRodrigues, two from brother Dave and one each from M Owen, SParker and C Hughes gave St John's Celtic an 8-2 victory over Parkview.
That work included surveys with sub-bottom profiling with boomer and sparker arrays, bathymetry, vertical gradient magnetometry and sampling.
Contract notice: This Contract Is For The Acquisition Of A Chain Of Seismic Sparker Full High Resolution.
CSIR-NIO will carry out surveys involving multi-beam bathymetry, magnetic, high-resolution sparker.
an interesting conversation sparker for young children.