Neat, tidy, trim, trig, snug, shipshape, spick-and-span mean manifesting care and orderliness.
Neat through all its variations in sense keeps as its basic implication clearness, such as the clearness from dirt or soil that is manifest chiefly in perfect cleanliness or the clearness that is indicated in simplicity and freedom from what clutters, complicates, or confuses or that indicates orderliness, deftness, or adroitness.
Tidy commonly suggests a pleasing neatness and order diligently maintained. As distinguished from neat, tidy throws the stress on orderliness, careful arrangement, or a place for everything, rather than on cleanliness or simplicity.
Trim implies both neatness and tidiness; it stresses, however, such smartness or spruceness in appearance as is given by clean lines and excellent proportions.
Trig, though close to trim, tends to carry a stronger implication of compactness, of neatness, and of jauntiness of appearance and is especially applicable to persons or their clothes.
Snug (see also COMFORTABLE ) in the present relation applies basically to ships and suggests a fine trimness of line and construction. In other applications the term may imply a neat, compact, ordered state that affords security or sheltered ease.
Shipshape is often used in place of snug to describe not only ships where tidiness and trimness prevail but whatever depends for its success or well-being upon habits of tidiness and orderliness.
Spick-and-span , which stresses the brightness and freshness of something new, is applicable also to what by care and cleanliness has been kept new in appearance or made to look like new.