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spit +‎ -oon



spittoon (plural spittoons)

  1. A receptacle for spit.
    • 1835, James Payn, From Exile[1], page 142:
      In the only arm-chair which the apartment boasted—one of the legs of which was shorter than the other three, and to remedy that defect was ingeniously stuck into an iron spittoon—sat the young man Mr. Pascoe had come to visit, very unlike, it must be confessed, any "portraits of a gentleman" one ever saw in the exhibition of the Royal Academy.
    • 1903, S. A. Knopf, “A practical talk to the nurses of tuberculous patients”, in The American Journal of Nursing[2], volume 3, page 444:
      For use in public institutions, in corridors and grounds, I would recommend an elevated spittoon, which has numerous advantages over the ordinary spittoon placed on the floor.
    • 1961 November, H. G. Ellison and P. G. Barlow, “Journey through France: Part One”, in Trains Illustrated, page 668:
      These had once been divided meticulously between the three classes and were still embellished by lengthy extracts from the Decrée of 1902 ("passengers must not spit except into the spittoons provided on pain of..."—but, alas, the spittoons are no more).
    • 2003, Marie Jakober, Only Call Us Faithful: A Novel of the Union Underground[3], page 194:
      They had made good time, Streight thought, considering what they were using: a chisel, a wooden spittoon to put the dirt in, a clothesline to pull the spittoon back and forth, a candle for the digger, and the rubber blanket for fanning air.


Related terms[edit]