Sign up using Facebook. Email Required, but never shown. Can anyone explain it better? Spit and vinegar seems like someone did not know that 'pep' could be substituted for 'piss'. It's most likely that the phrase originated around then, possibly as an adaptation of the existing 'vig and vigour', which means much the same.
During the s vinegar was used to mean vitality and energy and that's the meaning in 'piss and vinegar' and 'pep and vinegar'.
be full of piss and vinegar
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. I am old enough to remember the phrase. It does mean "full of energy" or "rowdy". Conflict and crime Food and drink. Ghost Word The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. What made you want to look up piss and vinegar?