Spring Gardens to Stagirite

Spring Gardens (London). So called from a playfully contrived waterwork, which, on being unguardedly pressed by the foot, sprinkled the bystanders with water. (James I., etc.)

Spring Tide The tide that springs or leaps or swells up. These full tides occur at the new and full moon, when the attraction of both sun and moon act in a direct line.

Sprout-kele The Saxon name for February. Kele is colewort, the great pot-wort of the ancient Saxons; the broth made thereof was also called kele. This important pottage herb begins to sprout in February. (Verstegan.)

Spruce Smart, dandified. Hall tells us it is a contraction of Prussian-like, à la Prusse, and gives the subjoined quotation:-

“After them came Sir Edward Hayward, and with him Sir Thomas Parre, in doublets of crimson velvet, faced on the breast with chains of silver, and over that short cloaks of crimson satin, and on their heads hats after dancers' fashion, with feathers in them. They were apparelled after the fashion of Prussia or Spruce.”
    In confirmation of this it may be mentioned that “Spruce leather” is certainly a corruption of Prussian leather; Spruce-beer is beer made from the Spruce or Prussian fir, and Danzig, in Prussia, is famous for the beverage.

Spun (To be) Exhausted, undone, ruined.

“I shall be spun. There is a voice within
Which tells me plainly I am all undone;
For though I toil not, neither do I spin,
I shall be spun.” Robert Murray (1863).

Spun Out As “the tale was spun out”- that is, prolonged to a disproportionate length. It is a Latin phrase, and the allusion is to the operation of spinning and weaving. Cicero says, “Tenu'o deducta poemata filo ”- that is, poems spun out to a fine thread.

Spunging House A victualling house where persons arrested for debt are kept for twenty-four hours, before lodging them in prison. The houses so used are generally kept by a bailiff, and the person lodged is spunged of all his money before he leaves.

Spur Money Money given to redeem a pair of spurs. Gifford says, in the time of Ben Jonson, in consequence of the interruptions to divine service occasioned by the ringing of the spurs worn, a small fine was imposed on those who entered church in spurs. The enforcement of this fine was committed to the beadles and chorister-boys.

Spurs Ripon spurs. The best spurs were made at Ripon, in Yorkshire.

“If my spurs be not right Rippon.”
Ben Jonson: Staple of News.
   The Battle of Spurs. The battle of Guinnegate, fought in 1513, between Henry VIII. and the Duc de Longueville. So called because the French used their spurs in flight more than their swords in fight.
   The Battle of the Spurs. The battle of Courtrai, in 1302. So called because the victorious Flemings gathered from the field more than 700 gilt spurs, worn by French nobles slain in the fight.
   To dish up the spurs. In Scotland, during the times of the Border feuds, when any of the great families had come to the end of their provisions the lady of the house sent up a pair of spurs for the last course, to intimate that it was time to put spurs to the horses and make a raid upon England for more cattle.

“He dishes up the spurs in his helpless address, like one of the old Border chiefs with an empty larder.”- The Daily Telegraph.
   To win his spurs. To gain the rank of knighthood. When a man was knighted, the person who dubbed him presented him with a pair of gilt spurs.

Spy Vidocq, the spy in the French Revolution, was a short man, vivacious, vain, and talkative. He spoke of his feats with real enthusiasm and gusto.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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