Why not call a spade a spade? Do not palliate sins by
“We call a nettle but a nettle, and the faults of fools but folly.” —Shakespeare: Coriolanus ii.
“I have learned to call wickedness by its own terms: a fig a fig, and
a spade a spade.” —John Knox.
Spades in cards. A corruption of the Spanish spados, pikes or
swords, called by the French piques (pikes).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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