could you please help to decipher the meaning of the idiom "I could just spit"? I have a sentence: "I'm so sick of people I could just spit", but I've also found many examples in google, such as "I'm so excited I could spit" or " I'm so tired, I'm practically furious. I could just spit " Only one source, also in google :) gives the meaning "of being very angry", but how being very angry is compatible with excitement?

Suppose that doesn't mean spiting in a direct sense, does it?
Thank you very much!

  • 1
    The collocation hopping mad (very angry) has been common on both sides of the pond for centuries, but spitting mad has started to gain traction recently, particularly is the US. You may also hear people use spit as a euphemism for shit in some contexts - riffing off idiomatic expressions such as I laughed so hard I nearly shat / shit! Feb 28, 2020 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


"I could just spit" means the person is very angry.

It may be a contraction of the idiom "I could spit nails!"

To be fair, you could have found definitions for these here and here.

  • People used to actually spit as a sign of annoyance (sometimes at people as a sign of disdain). Also, some people just produce spit when they are shouting at people in anger (I'm thinking of football managers).
    – Smock
    Feb 28, 2020 at 13:29
  • As I have mentioned above, in my question, I know that this can mean being angry. But, as I also mentioned in my question, how being very angry is compatible with excitement?( "I'm so excited I could spit") Feb 28, 2020 at 13:44

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