to "spit-shine"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 6 21:45:09 UTC 2007

I agree, Jon. The shine itself is the thing, not the manner in which
the shine is brought about.  I can't recall when or how it was that I
learned to use water,  but it was certainly no later than 1960. (The
use of fingertips instead of cotton or cloth was my own idea, though
others may independently have come up with the same method, before or
sense. Uh,  I mean, "since," of course. ;-))


On 3/6/07, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: to "spit-shine"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> By the time Amy learned it, the prescription for a "spit shine" no longer involved spit.  That supports the notion that _brilliance_ is now the defining characteristic of a (so-called) "spit shine."
>   JL
> Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Amy West
> Subject: Re: to "spit-shine"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I was taught by my brother how to do a spit shine. He is now a Lt.
> Col. in the USAF, but back then he was a gung ho CAP cadet who
> starched and ironed his fatigues. He's 7 yrs. my senior, so I was
> taught at a young age how to use warm water, shoe polish, and our
> baby sister's cloth diapers to achieve that brilliant shine. Put a
> smidge of polish on the cloth. Dip the polish in the warm water. Work
> the polish in small circles. Repeat over the entire surface. Let it
> sit a couple of minutes. Buff with a clean cloth to a shiny finish.
> ---Amy West
> >Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 02:00:40 -0500
> >From: Wilson Gray
> >Subject: Re: to "spit-shine"
> >
> >I'm beginning to get the impression that no one here except your
> >humble correspoondent has ever spit-shined any kind of footware.
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