He is the very/ the spitting image of sophistication
I am wondering whether or not those mean the same thing, if so, are they interchangeable?
Would you please throw a light on this confusion in a simple way?
I have just updated this issue, waiting for your invaluable explanations.
h=Having taken into account the following linke, I am wondering which one I should use, and eventually which one of the following bold ones you use?
metaphor: “it’s like he was spat out of his father’s mouth” (1689).
metonymy: “he’s the very spit of his father” (1825) — when the metaphor is commonplace enough, it no longer gets spelled out in full.
idiom/cliché: “the spit and image of his father” (1859) — a particularly effective wording of the metonymy solidifies into a widely re-used phrase.
corruption: “the spitten image” (1878) — the original analysis of the phrase is lost.
reanalysis: “the spitting image” (1901) — this strange new word “spitten” gets replaced by something which is at least syntactically more comprehensible.
further reanalysis/eggcorning: “the splitting image” (1880(!?), 1939) — the phrase changes to something which is more semantically plausible — it’s easier to imagine ways that “splitting image” could have arisen than “spitting image”.
Thanks in advance