Complete SP (sic)

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Complete SP (sic)

Post by tony h » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:55 am

I have for many years used the phrase "give me the full/complete SP on that". Meaning that I want to know all about it; I want a full briefing.
What I don't know is how you should spell SP and where it comes from. My guess it is British military of some sort.
Any ideas?
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by Tony Farg » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:23 am

I've always thought it stood for "status prevailing" and was ex military...but I've no evidence for this.
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:25 am

spec(pronounced "spek")...specs...specifications?
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:57 am

I thought it was "Starting price", horse racing jargon. They certainly ask "What was the SP?"
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:21 pm

My money's on Bob's explanation.
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by Garanhir » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:07 pm

I'm with Bob on this - SP is 'starting price' and implies that the information given is brief, accurate and up-to-the-minute.

As to how it should be written, well - it's one of those things that you say rather that write, but the Penguin Dictionary of Abbreviations gives it as 'SP' - which also seems to stand, depending on your occupation or predilection, for: Sanctissimus Pater, Self-Propelled, service pistol, service police, shore patrol, Sisters of Providence, Socialist Party, soil pipe, spark plug, Staff Paymaster, stirrup pump, stop payment, stretcher party, submarine patrol, Summus Pontifex, supply point and supra protest.

If seen as part of a vehicle registration number in the UK it means the vehicle is registered in Dundee, and if marked on a civil aircraft it means that the craft has come from Poland.

I remain, sorely perplexed, yours etc . . .
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:55 pm

Sorely perplexed - isn't that when someone's hit you below the belt?
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:40 pm

I thought that was the breastbone.
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Re: Complete SP (sic)

Post by p. g. cox » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:47 am

When I was in the Army SP stood for Standard Procedure.
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