Spitting Distance Meaning
(idiomatic) A short distance.
Example: 1840, A. Traveller, Notes upon Canada and the United States: from 1832 to 1840, Rogers and Thompson (Toronto), p. 180:
[N]o less than forty defaulters in the executive, within spitting distance of the President, have not alone been proved so, but still retain their places.
1899 April 27, Rudyard Kipling, quoted in "A Fleet in Being: Men who take their chances," West Coast Times (New Zealand), p. 4 (retrieved 15 Oct 2010):
"In these craft they risk the extreme perils of the sea. . . . They have been within spitting distance of collision and bumping distance of the bottom."
1972, John Pearson, "Science Worldwide," Popular Mechanics, September, p. 36:
They live within spitting distance of a busy runway at London's Heathrow Airport.
2007, Paul Levine, Trial & Error, ISBN 9780440242765, p. 120:
"Look around. Justice Building. County Jail. Sheriff's Department. A thousand cops within spitting distance."