[Ads-l] A spade is not a shovel.

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Tue Aug 1 11:50:07 EDT 2017


On 8/1/17 3:56 AM, David K. Barnhart wrote:

> I don't recall seeing a playing card in spades in which the tip is squared off.  The expression _in spades_ meaning "strongly" or "without holding back" comes, I suspect, from the dominating character of the suit in card playing.
>
> Good morning all,
> David
Well, the French name of this suit is pique (German: Pik), that is a
pointy, halberd-like weapon. In my German dialect it's called Schippe,
that is, shovel. In Swiss German, it means "shovel" too. Furthermore,
doesn't the shape originate with the leaf-shape of the German deck's
"green" suit? So I'm not sure what you can conclude about 21st century
shovels from a style of playing card suit that has been around since
some time in the early modern period.

(I think the tip is a bit of a red herring. Small portable spades of the
kind that are used by soldiers and backpackers are frequently pointy
(especially the most modern ones, it seems), which simply makes
functional sense as the short handle gives you less leverage and makes
it harder to drive the tool in. It's still a digging (or for soldiers,
trenching) tool.

Cheers,

Chris

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