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Describing a basic, old-fashioned pub that is perhaps not as clean as more modernized establishments. In the past, many pubs had sawdust on the floor. Primarily heard in UK. You can keep all those trendy gastropubs. I just want a quiet spit-and-sawdust place where I can get a pint.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
spit and sawdustBRITISH
A spit and sawdust pub or bar is dirty, untidy, and does not look respectable. I used to perform with a rock and roll band in the spit and sawdust Waterfront club. There's a pub called `The Compasses' in the High Street if it's spit and sawdust you're after. Note: In the past, the public bars of many pubs had sawdust on the floor to soak up the mess caused by people spitting and spilling their drinks.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
spit and sawdust(of a pub) old-fashioned, run-down, or dirty. British informal
Until the mid 20th century, the general bar of a pub would often have sawdust sprinkled on the floor, on to which the customers could spit.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017