To Put On The Spot

To Put On The Spot

Online Magazine

To Put On The Spot

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To Put On The Spot

To Put On The Spot

To Put On The Spot
To Put On The Spot
To Put On The Spot

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Online Magazine

To Put On The Spot

 By Brian H. Scott

The ace of spades is a symbol of death to the superstitious in many lands; in recent times Viet Cong soldiers were so afraid of it that American planes “bombed” their strongholds with thousands of the cards to demoralize them. The expression on the spot has its origins in this superstition, which probably derives from the old pirate practice of sending the ace of spades, which has one printed “spot” in the middle, as a death threat to an informer or coward whom they intended to kill. Anyone was sent the ace of spades was put on the spot, in a dangerous position, slated to die. American criminals perpetuated the expression, giving it wide currency, and early in this century it took on a less sinister meaning – although someone on the spot is still someone in danger of great failure or embarrassment if he doesn’t produce successful results within a short period of time. 


 
 
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To Put On The Spot