Spittin' image

Why does an image have to be “spittin’” for it to closely resemble another object?

Do the origins have anything to do with saliva?

One beer is less than two beers.

I think it’s actually “spit and image,” and is a way of saying that a person closely resembles a relative - same idea as saying someone is one’s own “flesh and blood.”

You might want to check Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (we reorganised our furniture on the weekend, so of course I can’t find my copy right now.)

You can find a quite verbose discussion of the phrase here. http://www.emich.edu/~linguist/issues/4/4-780.html

Any relation to “Kissin’ Cousins”?
You know, swappin’ spit and the like.

Read my post in the Saliva Disposal Methods thread.

Well, I know you won’t, so I’ll repeat here:

It has nothing to do with saliva.

It’s abbreviated form of “spiriten” or “in spirit.” When someone, usually a male, bore a resemblance to a father or grandfather, it was said that the father or grandfather was with him “in spirit.”

I can’t remember why I stumbled onto this site but it is about meaning and origins of phrases. It’s a UK site but it has American phrases also. The link is to the forum with a couple of answers on this question.