Spitting seems an almost universal sign of contempt or disgust; and spitting obviously represents the rejection of anything offensive from the mouth. Shakspeare makes the Duke of Norfolk say, "I spit at him— call him a slanderous coward and a villain." So, again, Falstaff says, "Tell thee what, Hal,—if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face." Leichhardt remarks that the Australians "interrupted their speeches by spitting, and uttering a noise like pooh! pooh! apparently expressive of their disgust." And Captain Burton speaks of certain negroes "spitting with disgust upon the ground." Captain Speedy informs me that this is likewise the case with the Abyssinians. Mr. Geach says that with the Malays of Malacca the expression of disgust "answers to spitting from the mouth;" and with the Fuegians, according to Mr. Bridges "to spit at one is the highest mark of contempt."
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