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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.
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.
spitting image, the
An exact resemblance, usually said of parent and child or other close relatives. This term comes from the earlier spit and image, which, since spit meant “likeness,” was redundant. Nevertheless, it was widely used from the late nineteenth century on, and by the mid-twentieth century, probably through mispronunciation or misspelling, was converted to the current cliché.
See also: spit