Why Do Men Spit?

Poor Ralph. He has no luck with the girls.

Cartoon courtesy of Grea, sangrea.net
Cartoon courtesy of Grea, sangrea.net

Spitting - Most Agree It's Disgusting

How disgusted are you when you see someone hocking a glob of gunk out of his throat and shooting that loogie onto a sidewalk, onto a stadium’s turf, onto the road from out the car window, directly into your face, and well, resurrect your memory as to where you’ve seen it land.

Does spitting belong to guys only, or is it a behavior that belongs to both sexes? When is spitting acceptable or understandable, and when is it not?

For the record, some people simply can’t spit up a hock that lies deep down in the throat, for physical or emotional reasons. They can cough it up, but they can’t spit it out. I happen to be one of them. When I was a kid and had a pleghmy cough, my mother would say, “Don’t swallow it, spit it up into this hankie.” There was no way I was going to spit gunk into a hand embroidered Irish linen hankie. Nosiree. There are spitters, then there are spit swallowers.

So, why do guys spit? Why do people spit? Why do you spit?

Some Background on Spit and Spitting

Spitting isn’t new; it’s been around for a long time. Let’s consider a few chemical, historical, and cultural aspects of the substance and practice of spitting before coming to a conclusion about why guys spit.

What is spit? Spit, purely speaking, is saliva. Produced all day every day in the mouth, it is mostly water to which is added a slippery element from the salivary glands, mucus from glands in the mouth, plus a few other chemicals including oxytocin and cortisol. Its purpose is to start the digestion process by mixing with the foods you chew. As you can imagine, even pure spit can be loaded with bacteria.

When it comes to using the verb “to spit”, the material which is spat is not so purely defined. In fact, it can be anything from the camel's undigested stomach contents to watermelon seeds to kudu dung.

Early Spitting Evidence Spitting has been around for a long time, as evidenced in ancient civilizations around the world.

Around 2,000 years ago, it was the rage among southwest Native Americans to chew shredded yucca leaves into wads, called quids, and then spit them out. Not much is known about why these early people engaged in this practice, because yucca leaves don’t taste very good and they have no mind-altering or known medicinal properties. However, scientists have had amazing success analyzing these quids for DNA and are using the results to track early migration routes.

More than 3,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians documented quite a lexicon of spells, including those that require spitting. Should you need to hex a foe, spit on one of his belongings. On the other hand, should you need to purge yourself of evil demons, spit heartily and with purpose.

Considering the robust history of spitting, I imagine many people throughout millennia had strong opinions about the practice. I don’t think we are the only ones.

The Symbolism of Spitting There is no doubt that spitting, like other base bodily functions, is drenched in its own symbolic content. As spitting is an act of purging, it can be said that spitting signifies ridding yourself of a bad feeling or a paralyzing fear. Even today, some who are superstitious believe you can rid yourself of bad luck by spitting three times after waking up from a bad dream. Spitting can represent hatred and anger as well, and in this sense it is akin to cursing at or casting spells upon a person or object, just as it was deliberately intended by the ancient Egyptians and many cultures that followed.

Acceptable and Necessary Spitting Apart from the symbolic or subconscious underpinnings of spitting, there are acceptable and necessary reasons for spitting. I think most will agree that there are situations you just can’t get through without it. Examples are getting rid of that nasty infected phlegm my mother insisted I deposit into a lace hankie, discharging the excess mucus that can build up during strenuous physical exercise and potentially interfere with effective breathing, and getting rid of the profuse moisture generated by chewing more modern quids such as chewing tobacco.

Is This Camel Spitting?

Camel Spit Isn't Spit At All

Contrary to popular opinion, camels don’t really spit, and what they eject isn’t spit (in the purest sense) at all. Spitting requires narrowing the lips and then propelling the contents of the mouth outward using a stream of air.

Camels simply fill their mouths with regurgtated food from their fore-stomachs, part their lips, and then fling their heads. This means that you should first, not provoke a camel, and second, keep your distance from a provoked camel.

Camels can fling enough of their partially digested food to cover the upper half of your body.

Photo courtesy amandak27, sxc.hu

Let's Mark Our Territory

Photo courtesy jessicasde, sxc.hu
Photo courtesy jessicasde, sxc.hu

So Why Do Guys Practice that Disgusting Kind of Spitting?

It may be just because they can. From the viewpoint of some sociologists, the act of hanging out and spitting just for the hell of it may be a sign of males establishing territory, much like what happens when dogs pee on hydrants or bears scratch their butts against trees. Of course, human males don’t have the olfactory ability to respond to this kind of marking through scent, but they do have the ability to respond through observing gesture. Says sociologist Robert S. McCarl, "Spitting is more than just something coming out of the mouth. It's a way to appear stronger and mark your space…Males are more concerned about turf than women are. You get a group of males together, and there is a lot of posturing going on…It's basically them throwing down a challenge."

Let’s talk about the baseball field for a minute. Who hasn’t witnessed loogies being spat at all times, just about everywhere they can be? I found a fascinating series of comments right from guys’ mouths about why they spit while playing ball. Many younger players openly admit that they do it simply because they think it’s a way to look cool, just like their heroes. Others say it’s a way to relieve tension during the game, especially if you’re in the dugout, warming up, or waiting out a referee’s disputed decision. Here’s my favorite comment about why guys spit in the ballpark: On the baseball field it is acceptable, so every guy out there is getting his fill before he has to go back to the real world and stop.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no universally accepted reason for guys spitting. They've been doing it for thousands of years, and despite laws against spitting as well as negative public opinion, they'll probably be doing it for thousands more.

Cartoon courtesy of Grea, sangrea.net
Cartoon courtesy of Grea, sangrea.net

Not Only Do Guys Like To Spit, They Like to Tell Stories About It

Gals Spit, Too

Women spit, like men do, for many of the same reasons: to show contempt, to ward off evil, and for health reasons. What they don't do, usually, is spit to mark territory. Apparently, once again according to Robert S. McCarl, women in general are less territorial than men; women don't have a tendency to hang out on street corners and posture with their spittle. However, their spitting can be just as shocking. In the 1948 film, Key Largo, Lauren Bacall's character, Norma Temple, disregards any fear she has for the dangerous Rocco, played by Edward G. Robinson, when she sprays his face with perfectly spat spit.

Let's Hear It from the Guys and Gals Who Spit

If you spit, guy or gal, why do you? If the poll questions don't cover your reasons, please feel free to elaborate in a comment.

I'm a Guy and I Spit in Public

I spit in public MOSTLY because...

  • ...I think it's cool
  • ...I have no choice (I'm sick, I chew tobacco or betel nuts or sunflower seeds, I can't breathe...all of those more or less acceptable reasons)
  • ...it's a culturally OK thing to do (that's the way I was raised)
  • ...I'm an avid spitting contest participant (dung, watermelon, cherry, you name it)
See results without voting

I'm a Gal and I Spit in Public

I spit in public MOSTLY because...

  • ...I think it's cool
  • ...I have no choice (I'm sick, I chew tobacco or betel nuts or sunflower seeds, I can't breathe...all of those more or less acceptable reasons)
  • ...it's a culturally OK thing to do (that's the way I was raised)
  • ...I'm an avid spitting contest participant (dung, watermelon, cherry, you name it)
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 133 comments

Cathy profile image

Cathy 7 years ago from Oregon, USA

OMG!!!!! This is EXCELLENT!! Thanks for the great laugh and thanks for the HUB.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Cathy, I am so glad you got a chuckle out of this. Spit stinks, and I am right there with you. Thanks for an absolutely fabulous HP request.


FlyingPanther profile image

FlyingPanther 7 years ago from here today gone tomorrow!!

LMAO!!

As always EXCELLENT hub Sally i had a good laugh out of it but yes this is gross!! EWWW!!!

Love always.

FlyingPanther


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

What an original hub!  The title made me wonder if this was something I wanted to read first thing in the morning!! :-)  It was a great read!  I had no idea there even were sociologic studies on spitting! 

I never heard of camels spitting, but I heard about llamas doing it aplenty, I think they do it when they are nervous, as a defense, pretty much as you describe, a territorial thing. 

There are also cultures, where spitting is "acceptable", like China.  The two people I know tht have been there told a tale of having to watch where they stepped, and having to skirt more that a few flying spits (ugh), something whci the gov trying to stop (education citizens) for the Olympics.  Gee, come to think of it, it's a big topic!  Kudos to you!


fishskinfreak2008 profile image

fishskinfreak2008 7 years ago from Fremont CA

Interesting ideas. Spitting is disgusting. Thumbs up


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

FlyingPanther, I can see you laughing! I had a lot of fun putting this one together. Thanks for the kind words. ~Sally


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hi Elena. You are so right when you say that spitting is a big topic. In fact, I cut out about half my original material before I published...the Hub just got to be too long. I'm actually thinking of writing another one or two on the subject. Who knew???

I found in my research that although public spitting is quite common in most parts of Asia, it is now being frowned upon, as you alluded to with the example of China trying to curtail the habit for the Olympics.

I'm so glad you had a pleasant morning read!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Bowen, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree...spitting is disgusting, whether it's done out of necessity or not. I'm curious, what are the current public opinion and legislation about spitting in Hong Kong?


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I hate spitting.  I have the quickest gag reflex in the world.  I'd put it up to anyone's.  I'm the best gagger around.  Even the word "spit" in this hub had my tongue working in my throat, I was in great fear of throwing up. 

I will do almost anything to not throw up.  Throwing up makes me gag.  Gagging makes me throw up.  It's a vicious cycle, one I will do anything nearly, to avoid.

My boys only occasionally spit, because of the few things that would anger me in their life, a loogie in front of me - that's it.  There goes their 50 cent inheritance! I mean it, man, no money, honey! Spit at your own risk, son.

I'm sure many men think it's "hot" and maybe a few women, I'm thankful to say I've never seen one of the female species, spit.  I'm sure they're out there, please don't show me, ladies....if you're one, I'll just take your word for it.

The camel spit was priceless!!!  I've never seen a camel in real life up close, 'cept in a zoo and I'm now glad they ignored me.  One loogie in my direction and I'd lose my mind. 

What a surprise hub subject and yet you did it beautifully, if one can use the word beautifully when describing loogies.  I had no idea of the history, and am kind of shocked spitting has been around so long...but given the human beings of habit and mess we are....it makes sense.

I've been to watermelon spitting contests as a child, but had to leave, because as I mentioned, I have this gagging problem....

Only the word, spit, made me gag, your hub is beautifullllll,, uh,  scuse me  I've got to run...


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

OMG, Marisue, you sure had a lot to say (gag)! Thanks so much for persevering. For a moment, I thought I might have lost you. On the other hand, maybe I did in the end. LOL.

Your sons are very lucky to know right up front what conditions they have to meet in order to get their inheritance. Not leaving them to wonder is enormously kind.

Thanks so much for your sincerely gut-felt comments. :)


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub, Sally - you answered something I wonder now and then, especially when I'm around folks who spit! Yuck! I'm with you though, I remember being coached to spit it out when I was a kid, sick with a cold....but in that situation, the idea of swallowing gags me a bit more than the word spit seems to be bothering Mariesue :-)


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Very entertaining--especially considering we're talking about bodily fluids shooting from people's bodies!!!

I want to get this on the record: I do not spit. Not even in Irish laced hankies.

I have, however, been spit upon....by a llama. My friend failed to tell me that when you hear the clicking sound you are to disperse IMMEDIATELY!! Regurgitated food is an excellent description of what they are actually shooting!

I'm still laughing at your read. Thanks for writing it!!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Quite interesting. I thought the scene in the (newer) Titanic movie whre the hero is trying to teach the girl how to spit, is really one of the most memorable in showing the cultural differences between the two characters.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Rochelle!  You stole my comment!  LOL  That is one of my favorite scenes in Titanic.  When Jack is teaching Rose how to "spit like a man".  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyfV6fdFmsU


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Sally, I love your humor. What great information too. Very fun piece and I learned a lot. I love Seinfeld and totally remember that episode. Christoph needs to read this one. (Humphrey Bogart, you know. Where is he? I am not going to show this to my kids, lest they start up with that. And you know they will. One guy spits and it's like a chain reaction.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Outstanding! I almost spit up just from reading the title! What a story! I used to spit a lot as a kid - spitting contests, whatever - but don't anymore and find the practice disgusting. One thing I thought of about spitting on the baseball field, was it's dusty and you get it in your mouth, so you have to spit to clean your mouth out. Nobody want's to swallow dirt (well, almost no one.)

You've really turned this into a great article, and I can't wait for the second installment. When I moved to Chicago, I spit and a friend said, "Don't spit. That's how tuburculosis spreads." I never spit in public again.

Thanks for another great one Sally. What a delight to read (and also a little gross.)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Sally - what a laugh! I always go 'ugh!' when I see guys spitting - and it seems to be across any outdoor game - maybe much less in tennis! Well, after reading Christoph's comment, maybe it's all that dirt/dust whatever after all - so maybe it's forgiveable - well...I did say 'maybe' :D

Absolutely entertaining hub!


Michellcat profile image

Michellcat 7 years ago

this is hilarious! A guy that can't swallow his own saliva worries me, personally. I mean, that guy can't possible expect someone to kiss him, can he?


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Good point Michellecat! Good point.

Tuburculosis? Realy Christoph? Ew! That I am telling my kids!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

dineane, I was happy to hear that I was not the only little girl to get such coaching. It makes me wonder if little boys need as much coaching when they are learning to spit, and if it's their mothers, not necessarily their fathers and brothers, who are the first coaches. :)

Proud Mom, that makes two of us not spitting for any reason (except maybe because we have to at the dentist's office). I'm sorry to hear that you were a victim of llama spit...that's got to be as bad, or even worse, than getting dumped on by a bunch of low-flying seagulls. Thanks for the cool comments!

Rochelle, thanks so much for the reference to the Titanic. I had quite forgotten that scene.

KCC, thanks for posting the link to it. Maybe the next Hub on this topic might be something about spitting in the movies (hmmm...double meaning here...could be fun).


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Frieda, I really got a kick out of your comment about one guy spitting and then there's a chain reaction. Obviously, you have boys, as does Marisue. I have one daughter, I'm an only child, and I was raised by my mother and her sister. Now ask me, what do I know about boys? From your brief words, I have a vivid picture in my head of all your sons (yours and Marisue's) hanging around the PC reading this Hub with you, and then making a mad dash to set up a spitting contest. I read your comment earlier today, and I'm still laughing at the thought!


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

Thanks for the great laugh and thanks for the nice HUB.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Chris, I always knew you were a gentleman, from the first Hub of yours I ever read. And if someone asked me to wager a thousand bucks on whether you spit or not, I'd be quite confident. It's interesting that your friend's mention of tuberculosis was the event that ended your spitting. These days, in this country, TB isn't something most of us see as a threat, although if you were growing up in the 50s, the scare was still real.

Thanks so much for your always alwesome comments.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Shalini! So nice to hear from you. Yes, spit is disgusting! Interestingly, cross-country runners get lots of dust in their mouths, but they don't spit with the frequency of baseball players. Yup, there's lots of material here for another Hub or two on the topic. I'm so glad you enjoyed the read.

Michellcat, I really had to laugh at your comment. Indeed, if his saliva's so offensive that he has to spit it out, why would any girl want to blend it with her own? I think you just may have offered the most convincing reason of all for guys to forego spitting!

Lgali, glad you enjoyed this. Thanks so much for your comments.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Ok.  I was browsing through the hubtivity just before I left work, and noticed that you left a comment on a hub, Why Do Guys Spit, and I thought, good grief, why would she even read that?  I couldn't wait to get home so I could check out what you said, and got the shock of my life.  You are the author!  I couldn't believe it LOL.  Too much phlegm, err,,time, on your hands?  :)

Seriously, I've always wondered why anyone spits, especially in public.  I have a tendency to walk with my head down, and good thing!!  I always, when stepping into the WAWA parking lot, see numerous globs of spit.  A lot of times it's so bad it's like walking through a minefield.  Blechhhh!!!!!

I found it interesting your mention of other cultures.  There is a large Russion group of people that work in my office.  I have seen a woman in the ladies room not only spit in the sink (Lord knows why not in the privacy of the stall) and I've also seen her press her finger on one side of her nose, keeping that nostril closed, then blow out the other side, a nasty glob of snot into the sink!!!  Talk about gross.  I've also seen a Russian man do the same thing with the nose outside. I don't know for sure if it's a Russion thing, but I don't get it! 

I also remember visiting my aunt out in CA when I was a child.  She thought nothing of spitting while walking with us while shopping.  Plain ole nasty!  I just thank God I never had to spit outside, and if it should ever happen, I'll be sure to find a spot away from the public eye.

A very interesting read, dear friend :)


easegiri profile image

easegiri 7 years ago from Bangalore

When I see the person sitting in the bus in the seat before me and spits out of window, I immediately tell him not to spit since the wind blows it back to me.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Trish, that's really funny about your reaction to any association I might have with something written about spit. LOL. How well do you know me?

Now that you mention it, I recall your telling me about the lady at work and her disgusting habits. Have you ever thought about asking her why she does that?

Thanks so much, my friend, for your very interesting comments.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

easegiri, I admire your taking action. For the most part, I believe people who make others uncomfortable through their thoughtless behaviors really are thought-less, as in without thought. And sometimes all that has to happen to change that person's behavior is for someone to speak to him about it and make him aware of it. Your actions have probably saved many people from a lot of discomfort. Thanks so much for your comment.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

No, I've never asked her why she does that. Basically, I pretend I didn't notice. Apparently I'm more embarrassed about it, and she clearly isn't. I really think I'd rather not know. Sometimes ignorance is bliss :)


Eddie Perkins 7 years ago

Sally,

This is an interesting subject for me for several reasons.  First, over the years I’ve had health problems and situations where I needed to “spit” or swallow.   We were raised in the country with no handkerchiefs or instructions, so some very distasteful habits were formed through those years.  We were also familiar with the old spittoons.

I remember a commentary on the old westerns where a guy had to spit or he wasn’t considered Mr. Tough guy.  I think boys picked up things like that to define themselves as tough.  I suspect this carried over to the street and baseball field.

It is spoken of as a form of cursing another in Deuteronomy 25:9then his brother's wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, 'So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother's house.' NKJVI agree it is a repulsive habit. 

Excuse me please… ~ eddie


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Eddie, I am so glad to see that you are back! And I am delighted that you stopped by here to share your experiences and thoughts.

While researching this Hub, I found another reference to spitting, quite in contrast to the Deuteronomy passage you shared. It is from John (9:6-7):

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam". So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

I have become fascinated with the sociology and psychology associated with this behavior. It is as basic to human life as eating, eliminating, and procreating, yet it has not been studied nearly that thoroughly.

So please excuse ME, for I've rambled on too much, but I think you can see I'm intrigued. That's why your experiences and comments are so valuable. Thanks so much for sharing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Trish, you and I are two birds of a feather here...the word that comes to mind is "non-confrontational". I asked that question of you, but surely you know that I would not have been any more likely to ask that woman why she does those things than you would have! LOL.


druneric profile image

druneric 7 years ago from Ohio

Wow, what a whacky topic. I couldn't do much more than skim however, as the memories I have of such behavior causes me to . . . hork? You know--gag, like a cat with a fur ball?


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Sally, as I read this hub the memory of a guy I used to date came back to "haunt" me. He was a cutie alright but I remember when he did that...spitting on the rug which was on the floor in front of us...I knew he wasn't my kind of guy. It's icky!!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

druneric, I'm glad you were so brave as to skim, and on top of that, leave a comment. To tell you the truth, I've been wanting to write another Hub on the subject, but I actually have to take a break. Some of the information I've been digging up is just too repulsive to keep thinking about!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hi Michelle! Thanks for sharing your story. I've never had a date who spat, but if I had, I would have done the same as you.

I found the "spitting confessions" in these comments interesting, in that the guys who confessed were sure to say that at some point they stopped the practice. I'm guessing the stopping was a good indicator of maturity. Tsk tsk, such a shame that a cutie would undo his appeal in a spit second!


bill komissaroff profile image

bill komissaroff 7 years ago from Portland O

Why don't girls swallow?

Just kidding. I was in Southeast Asia recently and was amazed how much spitting there was. It was kinda gross, but eventually realize it is just a cultural difference. They were probably grossed out by my hairy legs when I was wearing shorts.

Very well written and informative hub. Thanks!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for your comments about Asia, bill.  Yes, there sure are cultural differences, and hair or no hair on legs is one of them, for both men and women in different parts of the world.

I'm kind of glad you asked the question about girls swallowing.  In my research on spitting, this question came up over and over again, exactly as you presented it, as a reply to the question, "Why do guys spit?"  I might have to do some research on that exchange.

Thanks, too, for the compliments.


sarahonweb profile image

sarahonweb 7 years ago

This is interesting!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, sarahonweb.


Theophanes profile image

Theophanes 7 years ago from New England

Another great article but you kind of lost me at the camel part.... after reading that all I could think of is being drenched by a pissed off camel! Ewe! I've had llamas eye me up befor contemplating mowing me down with spit... alas they didn't but those beasties really have phenomanal aim! Oh and I loved the Yucca quids! That must be like a "first time" job for archeologist... poking around at prechewed Yucca...


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Theophanes, I see that you were lost, but I hope that now you are found. :)

I've never been regurgitated upon by a camel or a llama. It can't be pleasant. I hope I've learned enough from writing this Hub and from the awesome comments to it that I will keep myself absolutely outside the spitting range of either camel or llama.

Yeah, those quids are really cool. Imagine that! Somebody two thousand years older than the rest of us, chewing and spitting, just like us.

Thanks so much for your very cool comments.


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Awesome hub as always, Sally! I THOUGHT I was totally against spitting, but then I realized... ohmigosh... I used to spit all the time in college... in front of people... and I ENJOYED IT!

No, it wasn't for a watermellon-seed-spitting-contest, a keg-party dare, or a territorial rite. When brushing VERY dusty horses, I would get dirt in my mouth and on my teeth! It felt good to spit out the dust on the ground, but also, in a very twisted way, it felt good to do something so nasty and biological. I hope the only reasons felt comfortable doing it because I was in a dirty barn, and had a legitimate need to clean my mouth out. Now, of course, I'm much more civilized about horse-dirt-mouth, and wipe it out on a damp paper towel!

Was I a twisted freak? I hope not. But maybe I saw a bit of the appeal for people who do like to spit. It was ummm... liberating, a little? Maybe I was daring people to take offense at my action? Is that why the "bad boys" in leather jackets do it? Hmmm...

On a related note, Trish, when I read your comment about your co-worker and her ummm... "nasal spitting", I remembered where I've seen that behavior before. I think it might BE a Russian thing, because I love watching hockey, and half the hot sweaty beefcake men on the bench do the same thing! Most of them come from Eastern Europe or Canada these days, right? And I can't imagine the land of frighteningly clean subway systems spawning a load of nose-spitting gorillas...

Well, I'm off to walk the dog. He doesn't spit so much as drool, so I can't really ask his opinion on the matter. Keep up the great writing, Sally, we love it!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

annemaeve, a necessary part of going through life (I believe) is defying convention, or at least thinking about defying it (not all can or will do this). If you do defy it, then you make a step in a direction, and I believe your life is framed from that step forward. You might get the reactions you hope for, but then, you might get the opposite. The important thing is that you take the step...and then you deal with what happens.

So, your comment here is very refreshing...I hope you voted in the poll. because, to date, no women have admitted to spitting in public. Perhaps you will enlighten us in a new Hub about women spitting.

Now, when will they try to legislate against dog drool?

Your utmost fan, Sally.


Lena M. profile image

Lena M. 7 years ago from Toronto

Haha! I was looking at your hubs and when I saw the title of this one I knew I had to read it. Just the other day, I asked one of my close male friends (who happens to used to play baseball) about the whole spitting thing and he gave me this total blank stare and an "I don't know." I personally think it's a whole Y chromosome thing. Even my grandfather does it, so I don't think it's to be cool.

I haven't seen many females spit. Maybe I should go watch a softball game and see what happens.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I tend to agree with you, Lena, about the Y chromosome. I think some guys who spit never think about, they just do it, and since no one has asked them why, they don't know. Isn't that something? But maybe that's true about a lot ofbehaviors (male or female)...if you're not called on it or asked about it, then maybe you don't know why you do it. Hmmmm...I feel another Hub coming on. Maybe something about the unexamined life not worth living. LOL.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Men began spitting because they weren't allowed to pee in public anymore...... to mark their territory. :)

Nice Hub!


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for putting your two cents in here, Tom. We need more refreshing perspectives from men on this Hub! Glad you enjoyed the read.


Trisha's Artworks profile image

Trisha's Artworks 7 years ago

Cool hub....Yeah ive noticed that some guys spit....i love the part about bears scratching their butt against a tree trunk...hahaha


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hey Trisha, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm kind of partial to the bears' butts, too.


Jaspal profile image

Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

I did not know that people (okay, men) even in the great US of A spat. I was lucky not to see any during a recent visit which covered many states there.

Here, in India, it is unfortunately a very common occurrence. It’s almost like breathing for many. And our Government and the authorities seem to have accepted it as a fait accompli. It’s something no one can do anything about.

So, what’s the cure? If you cannot stop people from peeing, might as well build urinals. Many public places like railway stations, bus stops, high rise buildings, their stairways and lobbies, shopping complexes, Government offices have 'spittoons' placed at strategic, hard-to-miss spots. But, you guessed it, the spitting brigade does not like to direct its energies and streams of colored saliva towards those receptacles. They prefer the freshly painted white walls, doorways and even marble floors.

The stimulants which promote spitting seem to be betel leaves, raw or dried areca nut (known also as supari, tamul or kawai.) Then there is paan, a lethal though tasty combination of the two and some other juicy stuff! And, of course there is the good old tobacco cud.

Don’t women spit in the US? They do here, but not quite as openly and flamboyantly as their menfolk?


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Jaspal, you were lucky indeed not to see spitting during your trip to the US. There's plenty of it. I guess it depends on where you are in the US (urban, suburban, rural), and that's a huge topic in itself.

For the most part, women spit only either because they are sick and have to, or out of contempt (as in the clip from Key Largo, above).

When researching this topic, I learned that spitting: is strongly rooted in certain cultural traditions; can be successfully legislated and prosecuted anywhere in the world; is still a health hazard in places around the globe where tuberculosis is alive and well; has many colors depending on what the "stimulant" is.

When I wrote these two Hubs, I knew that the material I had gathered would be good for another 9 or 10 Hubs on the subject.

Thank you so much for lending your insights and experience to this topic. (I'm not sayin', mind you, that YOU spit. :p)


Greg 7 years ago

I am a teacher and the other teachers I work with are so anal they have stopped the boys from spitting during recess. I mean the boys run and they spit periodically and these people get bent out of shape over it.


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Greg.


MissJamieD profile image

MissJamieD 7 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

When I see someone spitting I want to puke, and then punch them in the mouth so they aren't able to continue such a disgusting habit...lol...funny topic, I love it:)


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Why, MissJamieD, what a colorful vocabulary you have, and this subject matter lets you show it off just perfectly! Couldn't have said it better myself. LOL. Thanks so much for the great comment!


slava 7 years ago

there is a thing called fetish spitting

sometimes i see teen girls spitting on the ground and i'm so temted to gather it off and taste


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I must say, this is one I haven't heard, slava. So I did a little research before making my comment to yours. Thanks for adding this information about fetish spitting. Apparently there are some out there who are exactly the opposite of repulsed by someone else's spit.


Richard Ring profile image

Richard Ring 7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

VERY interesting about Camel Spit, had no idea it wasn't really spit (nor that they could cover the upper half of your body). I don't spit, personally, but I know more about it now for those that do (and knowing is half the battle).


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Richard, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Never having had the honor of being spit upon by a camel, I had no idea about the facts either. Guess we are all better informed!


7 years ago

Interesting article. Especially "The Symbolism of Spitting" section.

I've wondered if spitting had something to do with guys marking territory and "trying to look tough" and things like underlying hatred/jealousy/anger. Just today I'm walking down the street with a female friend. There was this guy across the street just standing there waiting for someone to finish chatting in the driveway or something. Out the corner of my eye I see him looking at us, then as soon as I glance over, he just spits, looks at me, then looks away. Out of the blue. I just ignored it but I saw him looking at us again occasionally until I said goodbye to my friend, got in my car and drove away. Kind of amusing in a way. The guy looked like hillbilly trash so I didn't care, but on the drive home I wondered about the subconscious aspects of it. Was he disgusted for some reason? Possibly. My friend is as white as what can be and I'm a couple shades darker. Maybe the guy is one of those quiet racist types. Was he "marking territory"? I'm a visitor in the neighborhood. I believe he lives there. Lots of interesting thoughts like that. Or maybe he just caught a fly in his mouth or something and had to spit. And furthermore was a little embarrassed about it. Unlikely but somewhat believable. Nonetheless, thanks again for the hub.


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

J, thanks for sharing your considered analysis of this act that you witnessed. Your analysis is the proof in the pudding that there is a story in everything, if only we choose to look, and that there are some things out there we will never know the reason for. Glad you found this Hub of interest. Best regards, S.


funnebone profile image

funnebone 7 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Awww thuffering thucatash! I spit cause I got a big gap in my teeth...If I spit in the woods and nobody sees it, did it happen?...I really question your mental state to have researched this topic, and mine for reading about it...great job as always


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hey, funnebone, nice to see you. Yes, I'm still questioning my mental state about this, since I have two more Hubs about the topic lined up. Clearly there's something wrong here! Thanks for the good words.


mikeq107 7 years ago

Hey long time no see :0)

Got thinking about you today..you were the first person ( Lady ) to comment on my hubs ...SOOOOOOOO thought I would drop by to say HI how`s it going :):):):):) xxoxo

Well it looks like you are mangeing quite nicely ...spitting...I can still remember brass buckets in pubs in Ireland next to the bar counter in the mens bar...(women drank in the lounge)...

Of course the idea was to spit out chewing tobaco etc..but as the individual drank a little to much...the journey to the bathroom became an impoosible venture...so there after it became known as the piss bucket..

Today CSI would have a ball with that bucket...

Think I just figured out where " PISS OFF " came from...A wet unwelcome guest at the pub!!!!

Later michael xoxo :0)


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hey Mike, long time no see...not because of you but because of me. I've been a little absent around HP these days.

Love the images you created in your comment above about those Irish buckets. You are right. CSI could have at least a 2-hour episode around the contents of just one bucket.

I need to travel over to see what you've been up to. All the best to you and Cynthia!


mikeq107 7 years ago

Hi Sally :0)

I have been away alot too.

We moved to Bend oregon...love the high desert here...Winters will be cold..s maybe i will get back t the keyboard..

Later :0)


sneakorocksolid 7 years ago

Sally Great Hub! Spitting is a nasty habbit and it almost got my son killed. We were at one of his baseball games, I didn't notice any thing unusual except my wife was glaring at our son on third base. I asked what's up and she said if your kid(if he's messing up he's my kid because I think it's funny, women) spits one more time I'm going out on that field and kick his butt. I said let me handle it and I spoke with him. ( better cool-it your Moms pissed)


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Sneak, thanks so much for sharing your story. You and your wife have my vote!


OneGypsyTraveler profile image

OneGypsyTraveler 7 years ago from Grimsley, Tennessee

roflmao !! O man Sallys Trove, lololol You got it on the head


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

OGT, so glad you had a good rollicking laugh about this. Ain't it the hoot! Or the spit, or whatever!


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Yuck! lol. I thought this only happened in London. It disgusts me, especially the noise they make before spitting. When they do I whisper under my breath "oink, oink". lol. There should be a Law against it. :)


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Lady_E, what a good idea! If everybody who sees a spitter oinks out loud, that might be more of an effective deterrent than any of the laws on the books. Thanks for reading--and laughing!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

This is the most scientific look at spitting I have ever seen. :)


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Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Ivorwen, I was going for that!


camlo profile image

camlo 6 years ago from Cologne, Germany

Hi Sherri!

I never thought anyone could ever write anything this interesting on spitting.

For a while, when I was at school, I tried spitting, but others could do it better so I gave up. Some had it down to a fine art ... I remember one boy in particular -- he could eject little drops of spit from the tip of his tongue at the speed of a machine gun, or so it seemed. Had my full admiration.

I've changed a lot since then :-)

That a history of spitting has been recorded surprised me, and it's quite fascinating, which surprised me even more.

Thanks for a very interesting Hub!

All the best, Camlo


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Camlo, each of us has our own "art" so to speak. Spitting certainly isn't mine, and it wasn't yours. Let's leave the master spitters to themselves. And, as you implied, move on from one object of admiration to another.

As always, I so appreciate your comments.

Sherri


Jimbo 6 years ago

There is the rare exception where it may be necessary for a person to spit, but most of the time it's just a disgusting and childish activity.


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Jimbo, thanks for your comment.


nick247 profile image

nick247 6 years ago from United Kingdom

LOL. That's all :)


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

So glad you got a good laugh, Nick! Thanks for reading and commenting.


C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan 6 years ago from Kerala, India

Sally,

I write from a country where spitting is the past time of a vast majority of male population! In a way it is heartening to read this article because I was all along thinking that it's only in India that spitting is so hopelessly wide spread!

In Singapore, I understand spitting in public places as well as littering is banned. The popular joke in India is that people will visit Singapore as tourists and shower accolades on the cleanliness and discipline of the city but when they return to India, the first thing they do is to spit and throw litter and start complaining why India is so dirty!

CVR


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

CVR, India is not alone when it comes to spitting! Perhaps spitting is not quite as widely spread here as it is in India, but there's enough of it here that something serious needs to be done about it.

I'm glad you mentioned Singapore. It may be the one place in the world where anti-spitting laws are religiously enforced. I'm sure Americans who visit Singapore admire the same things as your countrymen do, and probably behave in the same way and complain in the same way when they return!

Thanks so much for adding interest to this Hub with your comment.


bladesofgrass profile image

bladesofgrass 6 years ago from The Fields of Iowa

Who knew there was so much information on spitting? Great Hub! I don't know which had me laughing more..the information in the article or reading "Proud Mom's" comment about how she doesn't spit and having her baby avatar stare at me, like she was actually saying it. LOL


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL bladesofgrass. That is such a beautiful visual. I hadn't thought about Proud Mom's avatar. You nailed that right on the head. Thank you so much for reading and leaving this wonderfully provoking comment. Now we're all going to look at Proud Mom in a different light.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

Oh, dear! EEEWWWWwwww!!! Seeing anyone (guy or gal) spit disgusts me! If you MUST spit, do so in private, and into an acceptable receptacle--e.g. the sink or toilet, and follow with a flushing!

I am with Marisue, the'gagger' on that count! As far as the Titanic comments.. LOL I remember one day a friend's teen daughter came home and boasted her proudest accomplishment: "Today I learned how to spit like a guy!" Gross!! Nothing to brag about.

As far as the 'sick/germy/mucus' thing...well, either option is unpleasant, but, (pardon the graphic description) you are already sick--you cannot re-infect yourself by swallowing: you've now got an immunity built up to that particular germ. In fact, disgusting as it sounds, it's a form of protein, and will be digested & go through that normal process. So, in the etiquette department, IMO, if you're in public, swallowing (yes, yuck) is the more socially acceptable solution.

I think guys could be cured of this habit if their 'spitter' were hooked up to an electroshock device tethered to their..... .... (insert censored anatomical part).... :-D


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I so admire your outspokenness, especially including your remedy of using an electroshock device.

What are guys so afraid of that they can't quit spitting? Losing their territory to a dog?

Thanks for enriching this Hub with clear speaking on clear thoughts.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This article was great fun to read along with all the confessions from other readers. It cleared up several things about the practice including why people spit three times after hearing bad news etc.

I remember reading a sign long ago that said "No Expectorating on Sidewalk" and I had to look up the word. From the looks of the WMart parking lot some other folks didn't know either. Fun read.


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Peg, I am having a huge gut laugh. One would think, after all these years, the word "spitting" just ought to be put on a warning sign. Apparently some kind of PC language about spitting has been going on for at least a century. HA!

Thanks so much for your awesome comment. Glad you enjoyed!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, Ha ha, I came over because of the link, really funny! cheers nell


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Glad you had a good laugh, Nell! This was my first spitting Hub. My approach to the next two was more serious, while the most recent returns to humor. I find the whole subject fascinating and by turns either sad or hysterical.


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 5 years ago from california

This is a great hub...interesting, funny, and even captivating. Loved it from start to finish. I never imagined that I would write comments like this about a hub on spitting.


Melvin 5 years ago

It's disgusting! It's gross! I do not know how to spit. I will not spit just because I do not know how to spit. I have seen some guys spitting and I wonder why? What have I done something wrong? Do I know them? why do they spit? But, I came here and thanks to this site for opening my eyes and now I understand why. It's not funny, but I do not pay them attention.


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Deni, captivating...I was goin' for that! Believe me when I tell you I never thought I'd ever write about spitting, but it turned out to be fascinating subject, to the point where I've written four Hubs about it and have three more in the works. Thank you so much for the good words!


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Melvin, thank you so much for leaving your very insightful comment.

Before I started researching spitting, I was so repulsed by the practice that I didn't want to hear about it, let alone think about it. My eyes were closed, too.

Indeed, spitting is a practice that evokes strong emotional responses from non-practitioners. Your words are worthy of further research into spitting, specifically into the emotional responses spitting elicits in those who don't spit.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Spitting is one of my ultimate pet peeves. It is a total turn off.


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for chiming in here, Mrs. J. B. As you know, you have plenty of company!


RALPH  5 years ago

i have had a problem with spitting a lot lately because my mouth fills up very bad i dont know what causes this i even drollall over my self at night i am looking for a cure i set around the house with a cup near i cant find anything funny about this like you people can i am looking for a cause and cure for this this is a problem not something funny RALPH


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Ralph, what you are describing is more prevalent than one might suspect, although it's not talked about very much. This article from the Mayo Clinic may be helpful to you:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/excessive-saliva/...


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

Very creative! And I thought we are the only nation of spitters in the world, I mean Jordanians and Arabs. It turns out you have a lot of spitters, disgusting but wounderful to share the cultures!


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL, Marwan, the Middle East does not claim the only rights to spitting. What surprised me as I wrote this series of articles was how little the authorities are willing to do to curtail spitting in public places. Certainly, spitting is a behavior as old as mankind, and so it's not going to go away any time soon. Thank you for reading and leaving your cross-cultural comment. It IS a small world, after all. :)


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 5 years ago

Yuk!

Actually was testing the minimum word count for comments. Didn't appear. Yukky hub though, you know, the topic. I hate spitters :)


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I share yuk with you.


Spittersaregross 5 years ago

I hate it when people spit. I have never seen a woman spit. Not that they don't. It's just more of a male behavior. Well, I am a guy and I am grossed out by it. Mostly because men do it all over where I live. On the steps, in the outside stairs, in the parking and driveway areas, and on the sidewalks. All I can think of is that, hey, what if I stepped in your spit on my way into my home? Now I am tracking your snot and saliva into my private place. I have to make sure as to not step in your spit. I should not have to do that. You should have the common decency to at least spit somewhere that people won't be walking or stepping and tracking your spit.


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Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Spittersaregross, thank you for sharing your views. If people stop and give the issue some thought, I doubt any would say they don't mind tracking another's bodily fluids into their own homes.


Matt 4 years ago

Does anybody know why sherlock-in the film-took the 'spitting' seriously when in the ring after getting the handkerchief from adler


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Matt, let's see what readers have to say. :)


Aric 4 years ago

It's a territorial thing for me, also with my asthma I hock up alot of phlegm, swallowing just adds to the problem. I feel more manlier when I spit. When I need to omit alpha status onto my peers, spitting shall be done. I work in construction - cigarettes, dip, spitting, cat calling is nothing new.

*spit*


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Yes, it would seem spitting can define a lifestyle. Thanks for sharing, Aric!


Susannah 4 years ago

I have no idea why public opinion has such a taboo opinion on spitting, in particular ladies spitting. Yes, as a lady, I may spit three to four times a day and the same if out at night. I am always conscious of people around me, so when possible, find a quiet space on the street, or anywhere else before I spit. Whilst I cannot change opinions of anybody who sees me, I would never spit close to another person in a street, bar, or anywhere else. I am a 42 y.o woman,intelligent, professional, and as I am told, attractive. I am not a child who needs lecturing by do gooders!


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Susannah, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Just saying, from my own observations according to how I was raised, spitting in the sight of others is a sign of contempt. I don't think I'm alone in that judgment. But I totally agree that you need no lecturing by do gooders.

I saw your comment on my article about spittoon photos in history...I'm off to respond to it there.


Grandpineapple 4 years ago

I think it is disgusting when done for the sake of it but I can't help but spit when I'm endurance running and I know I'm not the only one because look at sports players football/rugby.


jade hornby 4 years ago

I do not accept any comments or excuse for this. It is not cultural. It is uncivilised and can spread TB. IN Africa it is banned. If you spit near me, beware. Not even an animal does this. and your posts to try and explain this are just unbelievably stupid.


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thank you Grandpineapple and jade hornby for sharing your thoughts.


mamalila profile image

mamalila 4 years ago from Washington, DC

So gross and yet.... soooo Good! I hate spit! I play string instruments because I couldn't bare having a spit valve like a flute or something you put your mouth on. I'm not squeamish about much but spit..... yuck.

However, I don't know what made me come here but I'm so glad I did. My distaste for spit is still there but oddly enough, I can find it in my heart to accept the nature of spitting. What other phobias and irks can Sally's Trove help me cure? I'm going to find out.

Thanks!!


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

mamalila, I played guitar and piano; my ex-husband, tuba. I admit and agree with you that I couldn't take the idea of slobbering saliva on a musical instrument; neither flute nor trumpet nor French horn would ever have been my choice, even if I could take the mouthpieces with me from instrument to instrument.

Bodily fluids belong in your own body. Well, unless of course you are making a baby. In which case you have an intimate relationship...wait...I'm digging myself into a hole!

I don't know what Hubs I've written that may help you cure other phobias or help you settle other irks. But I'm so glad for your comment.


Gemini Fox profile image

Gemini Fox 4 years ago

FOUR hubs on spitting - lol! But I don't blame you in the least!

My Mom was English and she always hated people (men) who spat. Think it was illegal in England (or used to be - and is today in Singapore?) due to the spread of disease. It really is gross.

A friend and I walk in the park and there was a guy walking in front of us, spitting continuously, ON the sidewalk and we had to keep walking around it - YUCK!

Course if I suddenly ran into a bug I might make an exception to all of this :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL, Gemini! I actually have four more spitting articles "in the wings" so to speak. I just need the time to get them done.

Yes, spitting is illegal in Singapore, not so much in England. Our friends across the Atlantic pond seem to have the same ambivalence we do toward the practice. There are laws on the books, but they are seldom enforced.

Getting a bug in the mouth is by all means a reason to spit...please don't hold back!

Thank you for the interesting comment.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hello Sally's Trove. As a male I find spitting to be reprehensible. I fear in younger men it is they think, a way of showing thet are 'tough' or trying to be the 'leader' of the pack. Subconciously they think, it is striking fear into the other pack members. Older men should know better, however there is sometimes a genuine need to spit on the field of play.

Graham.


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Graham, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here. I like what you had to say about older men knowing better. At some place along life's time line, older people (both men and women), ought to have more on their minds than marking territory and decorating themselves around marked territory. There is much beauty in the aging process that has nothing to do with territory, and that's the legacy we need to be leaving for those who come up behind us.

About spitting on the field of play. A wonderful older woman friend of mine, who passed about 10 years ago at a ripe old age, was a huge baseball fan. Toward the end of her life, she stopped watching the World Series on TV because she couldn't stand the camera shots of all the spitting. She'd had enough. It seemed to her that spitting more than playing got the press. :)

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and also for jogging some thoughts and memories of mine.


kelleyward 4 years ago

This is so great! As a mom of three boys informatn like this comes in handy. Voted up and shared!


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Three boys? God bless! You've got your work cut out for you. TY for the votes and share. Glad this information is helpful. :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Who would have thought an entire hub on spitting! This is awesome! I'm a spitter in a gal kinda way, I have no choice. Sometimes. I like a watermelon seed contest too! This was too funny! You gotta do what you gotta do, but in the face is taboo!!


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Linda, check out my other three hubs on spitting. It's a complex subject. My grandmother spit...some can swallow phlegm and some can't. Hope you voted in the poll above about gals who spit. :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well I just had to read this one; evidently quite a few other people felt the same. What a hoot and I readily admit when I was younger and played baseball I spit for decades on the playing field. I have noticed now that I am older I no longer do it although I didn't realize that fact until I read this hub.

For me it was always nervous energy while playing ball; I would never spit anywhere else other than the baseball field. Anyway, fascinating, interesting, funny and a darn good read.


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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

billybuc, your comment reminded me of a dear friend of mine who loved baseball. She passed about ten years ago, having a long life of 90+ years. She was a Phillies fan. Toward the end of her life, watching the Phillies on TV instead of in the stadium, she got annoyed by the camera's focus on the team's spitting habits. Toward the end of her life, she didn't even want to watch the World Series on TV, for all the spitting.

I like Graham's comment above, "older men should know better," and it seems that's the place you've come to, as well.

Glad you found this a darn good read. :) ~Sherri


4 years ago

Oh my goodness, I kept meaning to look this up on google because unnecessary spitting by men has bothered me for decades! I guess what finally drove me to research this tonight is my eight year old son's recent habit of spitting outside for no reason. My husband does not spit usually (except when exercising vigorously- I read the comments of some that suggested this is a normal phenomenon- although I have never experienced this personally during vigorous excercise- and I suffer from both environmental allergies and asthma). I cannot get my son to stop, although I've told him it is disgusting and that girls don't like it. The psychology of men doing it to appear "tough" makes sense to me and it seems obvious the ones that exhibit this behavior the most are probably the most insecure...which is why I find heterosexual men that are not afraid to wear pink extremely masculine. As for necessary and unnecessary spitting...if you are in a public place and realize you've inadvertantly put something in your mouth that is dangerous (took a bite of something with peanuts when you have anaphylactic peanut allergy, accidentally bit into the suicide chicken wings when you can only handle mild, etc. it is acceptable to do whatever you need to, including spitting- to eradicate the danger from your mouth). Also, when you have congestion in your lungs- it is acceptable to hock, hack, or cough up whatever "fur balls" you need to, in order to clear your lungs...IN THE BATHROOM!! Sometimes you may have to cough that "phlegmy cough" in front of others when you cannot excuse yourself quickly enough and don't want to choke to death on your own snot. If this happens, say "excuse me" and go to the bathroom if you are not finished. I will say that since I have suffered from year round allergies since my youth, and then asthma as an adult, I know how to bring up phlegm and spit it out when I'm sick. In fact, I am pretty sure this will extend my life somewhat because it can get really dangerous to have that gunk fester in your body- especially in the elderly- next thing you know you are in the hospital- and then you may catch a hospital or nosocomial infection that is unresponsive to most antibiotics. Anyway, I want to make the point that depending on how thick the mucous is, swallowing isn't always an option. Sometimes it is so thick, you cannot really swallow it effectively (you realize this because no matter how much you swallow- you don't feel better- and the urge to swallow doesn't go away). At this point you realize you need to cough it up...literally. So personally, I swallow when I can, but hack it up when I have to....! As for the people who have "sinus issues" this is not an excuse to spit in public! Go see an allergist, or take OTC medications (pseudoephedrine- may have to show id to buy behind the counter- but it is the best decongestant), and/or an antihistamine (claritin, allegra, zyrtec). Heck if it's allergies and you can't take meds- see an allergist and get allergy shots. I get them and they WORK! Show your masculinity and get a shot instead of spewing your saliva. If none of the above work for you, use a Sinus Rinse...Neilmed makes a good one- get the squirter bottle that you mix a saline packet with warm water and shoot up one nostril (over the sink) and it eventually comes out the other nostril (with all the gunk you've been storing in your sinuses). Repeat for the other nostril. Do this when you first get a cold and you will be amazed at what comes out...in fact you will become a regular sinus rinse user because it is that DISGUSTIMUNDO!! I recommend the squirter bottle over the Netipot, because it works by force (you squeezing the bottle) over gravity (you pouring the Netipot into one nostril...) Alright spitting men,...stop making excuses and start acting like manly men...secure enough in your own masculinity to find a better way of dealing with your spit and posturing. By the way, does anyone have any ideas on how to convince an eight year old boy to stop spitting? My husband hasn't been much help, unfortunately....


Susannah 4 years ago

Well there may be ambivolence but not much here across the pond. Granted our wet and rainy weather in this summer has caused a few more colds and such like recently and increased the number of ladies spitting here... All I can say is I am far from alone. If exercised carefully and away from another person then what is the problem? Without lowering the tone of this blog, you cannot tell me that the "anti" females do not indulge in spitting in certain private moments behind closed doors so to speak! They are not concerned about public perception and spreading germs at these moments I guess. So why criticise those of us that have no problem with this issue? Would be interesting to see the honest truth if a survey was conducted regarding public spitting of maybe one hundred women. I'm hitting the London shops with my credit card in a while, if I feel the need to spit, I will. I will not be the only one by far. I'd wager a thousand pounds on that one.....Oh, by the way, ours is a free country as is yours so I do hope the day never arrives that I have to locate a spitoon or face a hefty fine!! Thanks for listening/reading! Sue


Jim 3 years ago

Spitting for men is only another one of the pleasures they like to experience like having an orgasm, gas, and other discharges from their bodies whatever they may be. Though they will never admit it. They feel a sense of relief with any if them.


Indones 3 years ago

I have a bad experience regarding spitting. When I was 7 years old, my babysitter spat on my cheek and mouth purposely . I knew she did in term of playing . Now I am 43 , expecting she come and do again ....so weird


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

My theory has always been that the reason women tend to outlive men is that we don't spit.


Chris Johnson 2 years ago

Spitting in public is not too classy. I personally do it only when I am sick and need to spit something out but that is the only time. Otherwise, people need to use a spittoon or something, have some manners folks. By Chris Johnson with http://www.flasr.com/


6 months ago

Whenever I see a man spitting (I've never witnessed a woman doing so) I think he's a low-class bum with no good sense, no manners, and no decent upbringing about him. In fact, if a spitting man comes near my car, I'll honk and tell him he doesn't need to do that so openly near my car, or in front of other people, or where others are about to walk, because it is terribly disgusting and dirty. And if he has aides or Hep C, and so on, well... sheesh, that's a no-brainer that he certainly has no comprehension of how not to spread disease. He can carry a handkerchief, a can, or a jar which he can later properly dispose of. If you must spit, you should never do it in front of others and especially not where people could fall over into your disgusting fluids, you neanderthal.

Several years back as I was walking into a grocery market, some low-class neanderthal scrum-ball stopped right at the entrance of Homeland and spit a giant one, right on the entrance walk-through. He didn't even look back to make sure he didn't get it in anyone's path, or on anyone! As it was, my 14-month old was waddling behind him, so as that disgusting thing spat out his bodily fluids, I scooped up my baby as he toddled over, just missing that slimy pile of who-know-what!

Spitting like that in public areas should be made illegal. In fact, all because of that stinky, low-life, poor excuse of a man, we left that market, Homeland, and never returned there ever again. That is a mental pictured scarred into my memory, and my "baby" is now 19 years old. My husband has never - not ever, spat in front of me, thank goodness! He's a gentleman, so not all men are disgusting. We raised our sons to respect people, and other things like knowing better than to spit in public.

Lastly, it may be his "right" to spit, but others have rights, too, and many of us wish not to be subject to your nasty ways. Take it behind a large bush, you pig.

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