smack dab

exactly in that spot


smack dab (in the middle) = genau (in die Mitte)



“A 36-year-old is SMACK DAB in the middle of the generational cohort, falling well within the psychologist Erik Erikson’s ‘early adulthood’ stage of psychosocial development.”

Joseph Bernstein - The New York Times ( 28th January 2024)

“When we left the city, we landed first in tiny Rosendale, SMACK DAB between New Paltz and Kingston.”

Sari Botton - The Guardian (14th April 2021)

Did you

smack dab

- smack dab is used in expressions such as 'smack-dab in the middle' of somewhere to mean exactly in that place

- directly or precisely, often used to emphasize the exactness or accuracy of a location or point in time

Collins Dictionary


The term "smack" is derived from the Middle Dutch word smakken, which means "to strike" or "to hit". "Dab" is from the Middle English word dabben, which means "to strike with a sudden blow".

When combined, "smack-dab" creates an image of something hitting or striking a target with precision, hence its usage to convey the idea of being in the exact or precise location.


Words that echo their true meaning are called onomatopoeic — common examples include "buzz", "hiss", "crash", and "murmur" — here are 20 smack-related words:

bop, belt, buffet, clout, clobber, hit, jab, pummel, pop, rap, slam, slap, sock, spank, smackdown, strike, thump, wallop, whack, whap

BTW, lip-smacking is the delightfully onomatopoeic “Geschmatze” in German!


at that precise location, dead bang, dead on, exactly there, in that exact location (identical spot, particular place, selfsame place, specific spot, in that very location, very place), just there, on the button (dot), plumb on, precisely at that point, right at that point (in that spot, on the mark, on the dot), right square, slam/slap/smack bang on (in the middle), SMACK DAB (on), squarely on, spot on

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“A touch of appropriate humour, SMACK DAB in an uneasy discussion, can help to ease the tension.”

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