spit fire

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spit fire (third-person singular simple present spits fire, present participle spitting fire, simple past spat fire or spit fire, past participle spat fire)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see spit,‎ fire.
  2. To be extremely angry.
    • 2008, Nicholas J. Nigro, No Job? No Prob!, →ISBN:
      If somebody cuts you off on the highway, don't spit fire—forget about it and arrive at your intended destination in one piece and as relaxed as possible.
    • 2014, Moira Young, Raging Star, →ISBN, page 47:
      If Lugh saw that mess, he'd spit fire, I says.
    • 2015, Lorraine Kennedy, Dark Rider: A Western Native American Romance, page 8:
      As Angel suspected, May chewed nails and spit fire when the sheriff released her into her stepmother's custody.
  3. (of eyes) To flash and reveal strong emotion.
    • 2010, Christina Crooks, L.A. Caveman (battle of the sexes, office romance):
      Her pretty gray-blue eyes no longer spit fire.
    • 2012, Karen Kay, War Cloud's Passion, →ISBN, page 141:
      Her eyes spit fire, but she nodded, if a quick jerk of her head could be called a nod.
    • 2013, Julia Mills, Her Dragon To Slay, →ISBN:
      It described her to a tee; from her fiery mane of red hair to her beautiful emerald eyes that spit fire when she was angry or frustrated.
  4. To speak with vehemence.
    • 2000, B. J. Lawry, Desert Heat, →ISBN, page 87:
      It would do no good to spit fire at him. He'd only laugh, and then he'd get his own way anyway.
    • 2006, Charles H. Spurgeon, John Ploughman's Talk: Or, Plain Advice for Plain People, →ISBN, page 123:
      Many look as if butter would not melt in their mouths, and yet can spit fire when it suits their purpose.
    • 2011, Thomas Hill Green & R. L. Nettleship, Works of Thomas Hill Green, →ISBN, page 332:
      The beneficed ministers, however, stimulated by missives from the Scotch kirk, now in arms for Charles II., continued, says the gentle Mrs. Hutchinson, to 'spit fire out of their pulpits,' and even the rout of their allies at Dunbar, though it made their tongues less dangerous, did not make them more smooth.
  5. To perform with skill and energy, especially when reciting poetry or rapping.
    • 2009, Pamela Best, Of Love, →ISBN:
      Her motive is simple — “To spit fire into microphones that she might inspire a generation; to rekindle revolution through the power of revelation."
    • 2012, Warren Wilson College, →ISBN:
      We spit fire, drink Coca-Cola, have dance parties, and are Big Brothers and Sisters.
    • 2015, T.N. Baker, Sheisty: Triple Crown Collection, →ISBN:
      Honey's was packed, but that didn't always mean you were gonna make a lot of money, 'cause fifty percent of the niggas wanted to see the pussy spit fire for a fucking dollar.
    • 2015, Jupiter Reed, Wrecking Rainbows: Bundles of Wayward Poetry, →ISBN:
      A bouquet of chaotic words salvaged from the unceasing winter storm that churns regularly in the seemingly quiet little mind of a seventeen-year-old idealist who loves to spit fire at the world when she’s feeling fussy.


spit fire (plural spit fires)

  1. Alternative form of spitfire
    • 2011, Sue Robinett, Shana; Legend of Mah-cou-ah Her-moomch Eh Tivo (woman Walks Like a Man), →ISBN:
      His intention was to steal cattle all the way to Mexico but the vivid memory of that spit fire's lips altered his plans.
    • 2012, C. L. Ellis, Hussy, →ISBN, page 201:
      Oh yes Ms. Bobbyjean was a spit fire alright.
    • 2013, Jimmy Correa, How My Prank Stories In Social Media Web Sites Got Me Committed In The Psychiatric Ward At Bellevue Hospital., →ISBN, page 59:
      Her name is Marisol who lives in Spain, a spit fire of a gal, pretty as a daisy to say the least who loves to entertain her friends and has become with no fault of her own the mother/ house nanny to her family of four men, her father, and her three brothers.
  2. A cooking fire with a spit over it.
    • 1982, Ted Mancuso & Frank Hill, Kung Fu for Young People: An Introduction to Karate and Kung Fu, →ISBN:
      That's why," he said, holding up his knife so they could see it gleam in the light of the spit fire, "cutting with my method actually sharpens my knife.
    • 2007, Constance Leeds, The Silver Cup, →ISBN, page 17:
      Karl and the boys snared all sorts of birds to cook on the spit fire — buntings and starlings, wild geese, mallards, and pigeons.
    • 2014, John Gearing, The Journeyman Sagas: The Quest for Fallenjour, →ISBN:
      They positioned their fires upwind of Nathanial so as to ensure he smelt the food cooking on the open spit fires.