Spad vs Span - What's the difference?

spad | span |

As adjectives the difference between spad and span

is that spad is thin, tiny, young while span is hairless, glabrous.

As a verb spad

is .



Alternative forms

* SpAd


(en noun)
  • A government adviser, often in a political or media role.
  • * 2009 , Ben Wright, Hidden world of the political advisers, BBC:
  • A successful stint as a spad can be a crucial political apprenticeship - as many of the current crop of professional politicians including the Miliband brothers, David Cameron and George Osborne can testify - so long as they stay in the dark.
  • * 2012 , Avoid The Thick of It-style spad appointments, ministers told, The Guardian :
  • The hit BBC sitcom satirising the inner workings of Whitehall and the so-called spads contains "more than a grain of truth", the head of the cross-party public administration select committee has warned.



    Etymology 1

    (etyl) spann


    (en noun)
  • The space from the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; eighth of a fathom.
  • Hence, a small space or a brief portion of time.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Yet not to earth's contracted span / Thy goodness let me bound.
  • * Farquhar
  • Life's but a span ; I'll every inch enjoy.
  • * 2007 . Zerzan, John. Silence .
  • The unsilent present is a time of evaporating attention spans ,
  • The spread or extent of an arch or between its abutments, or of a beam, girder, truss, roof, bridge, or the like, between supports.
  • The length of a cable, wire, rope, chain between two consecutive supports.
  • (nautical) A rope having its ends made fast so that a purchase can be hooked to the bight; also, a rope made fast in the center so that both ends can be used.
  • (obsolete) A pair of horses or other animals driven together; usually, such a pair of horses when similar in color, form, and action.
  • (mathematics) the space of all linear combinations of something
  • Etymology 2

    Old English spannan


  • To traverse the distance between.
  • The suspension bridge spanned the canyon as tenuously as one could imagine.
  • To cover or extend over an area or time period.
  • The parking lot spans three acres.
    The novel spans three centuries.
    World record! 5 GHz WiFi connection spans 189 miles. []
  • * Prescott
  • The rivers were spanned by arches of solid masonry.
  • To measure by the span of the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object.
  • to span''' a space or distance; to '''span a cylinder
  • * Bible, Isa. xiviii. 13
  • My right hand hath spanned the heavens.
  • (mathematics) to generate an entire space by means of linear combinations
  • (intransitive, US, dated) To be matched, as horses.
  • To fetter, as a horse; to hobble.
  • Etymology 3


  • (archaic, nonstandard) (spin)
  • *
  • * '>citation
  • *:a giant pick-up truck span out of control during a stunt show in a Dutch town, killing three people