Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Sponge.

 Spoke (noun).Spontaneous Combustion. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Throw up the sponge. Give up; confess oneself beaten. The metaphor is from boxing matches.   1
        “We must stand up to our fight now, or throw up the sponge. There’s no two ways about the matter.”—Boldrewood: Robbery under Arms, chap. xxxi.
        “We hear that the followers of the Arab chief have thrown up the sponge.”—Newspaper paragraph, April 2nd, 1888.

 Spoke (noun).Spontaneous Combustion. 


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