If people were to speak in plain English, life would be boring and just straightforward. Slangs are fun ways of saying specific words, these words explain the word or phrase while keeping it short as well as understandable. Speeches are either formal or informal, depending on who is addressed. In cases where the person spoken to is of respectable position/older, formality is needed. For friends, colleagues and people you are close to, you speak informally to depict closeness with relationship. When interacting, people have to ensure they use these two phenomena properly. A slang is used whenever you are relating informally, but should be avoided when relating formally.
Spruce it up is a slang that dates decades back, which was popularly used then. Despite the times, there was a group of people who took time to look dashing and neat. Serious effort is placed into looking fashionable among peers, which made them stand out. The act of looking neat is referred to as sprucing up. Once men and women glowed up in cleaner dressing or general beautification, they spruced it up. Commoners who needed to look like the upper class were often asked to ‘spruce it up’. Aside from the physical appearance of humans, it is generally used when other things are made neater.
When you clean a house/any other object, you have spruced it up. After painting a house that is either not painted or has an old paint, you have ‘spruced up’. In cases where you are going on a date, which requires you to freshen yourself up, freshening up is also sprucing up. Often misconceptions surround the origin, with some relating it to spruce brooms. They believed the term ‘spruce up’ meant to sweep dirty areas with spruce brooms. Spruce brooms or yellow witches’ brooms are fungal plants that often cause diseases known as Spruce broom rust.
Scientists certify that this rust is caused by a fungus known as Chrysomyxa arctosphyli. Despite the close relation of this origin to witches’ brooms, it is far from that. However, the term ‘spruce it up’ originates from Prussia, a state that once existed in Germany. ‘Spruce’ was discovered in the 14th century as a German state but was later dissolved. After getting dissolved, Pruce was distributed to Poland and Russia. Pruce is a shortened form of Prussia, the original word before ‘spruce’ was coined. Spruce is a different way of saying or pronouncing Pruce, which is short for Prussia.
The phrase ‘spruce up’ is almost as old as the state of Prussia itself. All items bought by tourists or generally sold in this state are called spruce. If you bought a shoe from there, it would be called a spruce shoe. Two centuries later, the phrase ‘spruce up’ was adapted to refer to making something neat and well arranged. Prussians referred to making things neat as sprucing things up. As stated earlier, these Prussians used the phrase as slang. Subsequently, spruce it up moved around countries from its original place of origin.
From the 15th century, when it was used as a substitute for words like making neat, it got to America. Four centuries later, it was redefined by Americans into separate words. Words like tidying up, redesigning, refurbishing and spring-cleaning in American English. Americans felt using this slang saved time as well as summarizing cleaning. Rather than saying all those phrases, you could just say you spruced up. After it’s been redefined, recently it’s been used when referring to people and their clothes. When you change into your new clothes, it’s referred to as sprucing.
Tailors previously spruced things up by adding ribbons to regular clothing. Asking a tailor to spruce up your clothes required adding ribbons. Currently, this phrase is used in addressing German spruce leather jackets. When referring to dressing up in spruce leather as sprucing, to spruce has its advantages. Whenever you are spruced up, you are protected in risky conditions like bike riding.
Accidents occur numerous times during risky activities, when you spruce up, you are slightly protected. In cold areas, putting on those jackets keeps wearers warm, leveling the body’s temperature. Since its original meaning is looking neat along with looking fashionable, wearing spruce jackets is a fashion statement.