AskDefine | Define spoon

Dictionary Definition



1 a piece of cutlery with a shallow bowl-shaped container and a handle; used to stir or serve or take up food
2 as much as a spoon will hold; "he added two spoons of sugar" [syn: spoonful]
3 formerly a golfing wood with an elevated face


1 scoop up or take up with a spoon; "spoon the sauce over the roast"
2 snuggle and lie in a position where one person faces the back of the others [syn: smooch, snog]

User Contributed Dictionary



etyl enm spone from etyl ang spon, from common etyl gem *spē-nu-, derived from . Possible cognates include Greek σφήν.


  • /spuːn/, /spu:n/
  • Rhymes with: -uːn


  1. An implement for eating or serving; a scooped utensil whose long handle is straight, in contrast to a ladle.
  2. An implement for stirring food while being prepared; a wooden spoon.
  3. In the context of "sports|archaic": A wooden-headed golf club with moderate loft, similar to the modern three wood.
  4. In the context of "fishing": A type of metal lure resembling the concave head of a table spoon.


scooped utensil for eating (or serving)
metal lure for fishing


  1. In the context of "of sailing vessels": to turn to port and starboard erratically for short periods of time, as a sailing boat does when heading nearly into a wind that varies direction slightly
  2. to have a nervously ambivalent romantic rendezvous, as young people had during the age of chaperones, from turning one's head toward and away from the other person as the sailing ship did
  3. to lie nested together, in a manner reminiscent of stacked spoons; usually has a sexual connotation


sailing terminology
  • Dutch: laveren
  • Spanish: cuchara
ambivalent relationship
way of lying together

Extensive Definition

A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small, shallow bowl at the end of a handle, used primarily for serving and eating liquid, or semi-liquid foods, and solid foods such as rice and cereal which cannot easily be lifted with a fork. Spoons are also used in cooking to measure and mix ingredients. They can be made from metal, wood or plastic.
From the derivation of the word the earliest northern European spoon would seem to have been a chip or splinter of wood; Greek references point to the early and natural use of shells, such as those that are still used by primitive peoples. Ancient Indian texts also refer to the use of spoons. For example, the Rigveda refers to spoons during a passage describing the reflection of light as it "touches the spoon's mouth" (RV 8.43.10). Preserved examples of various forms of spoons used by the ancient Egyptians include those composed of ivory, flint, slate and wood; many of them carved with religious symbols. Spoons are also widely used in cooking and serving.
The teaspoon and tablespoon are used as standard units of measure for volume in cooking. The teaspoon is often used in a similar way to describe the dosage for over the counter medicines. A teaspoon is about 5ml and a table spoon about 15ml.
The souvenir spoon generally exists solely as a decorative object commemorating an event, place, or special date.


For machine-made spoons, the basic shape is cut out from a sheet of sterling silver, nickel silver alloy or stainless steel. The bowl is cross rolled between two pressurized rollers to produce a thinner section. The handle section is also rolled to produce the width needed for the top end. The blank is then cropped to the required shape, and two dies are used to apply the pattern to the blank. The fash is then removed using a lynisher, and the bowl is formed between two dies and bent.
Handforging spoons, on the other hand, is the traditional way to manufacture spoons. Spoons are also used for sports such as 'spooning', this consists of 2 or more participents balancing a spoon on the end of their nose, the longest holder wins.

Popular Culture

Comedian Eddie Izzard references spoons and, particularly, this webpage in his stand-up routines during a stint at Union Square Theater in New York City during February of 2008.
There is also a popular band, Spoon (band), that shares a name with this utensil (although their name was chosen for other reasons).
Spoons were also mentioned in an episode of Fawlty Towers entitled The Hotel Inspectors, where actor Bernard Cribbins played an annoying spoon salesman who stayed in the hotel.
A UK Children's TV program, broadcast on ITV, called Button Moon featured a family of spoons who regularly flew to Button Moon.



  • Bednersh, Wayne. Collectible Souvenir Spoons: The Grand Tour. Collector Books, 2000. ISBN 978-1574321890.
Features broad array of collectible spoons from around the world, with values.
  • Rainwater, Dorothy. Spoons From Around the World. New York: Shiffer Publishing, 1992. ISBN 978-0887404252.
Contains historical information and photos of antique collectible spoons.
  • Spark, Nick. Spoons West! Fred Harvey, the Navajo, and the Souvenir Spoons of the West 1890-1941. Los Angeles, California: Periscope Film, 2007. ISBN 978-0978638894.
Historical overview of American souvenir spoons with detailed photographs.
spoon in Catalan: Cullera
spoon in Czech: Lžíce
spoon in Danish: Ske
spoon in German: Essbesteck#L.C3.B6ffel
spoon in Spanish: Cuchara
spoon in Esperanto: Kulero
spoon in French: Cuillère
spoon in Ido: Kuliero
spoon in Indonesian: Sendok
spoon in Italian: Cucchiaio (utensile da cucina)
spoon in Hebrew: כף
spoon in Lithuanian: Šaukštas
spoon in Dutch: Lepel (bestek)
spoon in Japanese: スプーン
spoon in Norwegian: Skje
spoon in Norwegian Nynorsk: Skei
spoon in Occitan (post 1500): Culhièr
spoon in Uzbek: Qoshiq
spoon in Polish: Łyżka
spoon in Portuguese: Colher
spoon in Russian: Ложка
spoon in Simple English: Spoon
spoon in Finnish: Lusikka
spoon in Swedish: Sked
spoon in Turkish: Kaşık
spoon in Ukrainian: Ложка
spoon in Venetian: Cuciaro
spoon in Dimli: Khoçıke
spoon in Samogitian: Šaukšts
spoon in Chinese: 匙

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

administer, bail, bill and coo, blockhead, bucket, cluck, copulate, cup, cutlery, dally, deal, deal out, decant, dimwit, dining utensils, dip, disburse, dish, dish out, dish up, dispense, disperse, dispose, distribute, dole, dole out, dope, flat silver, flatware, fork, forks, give out, goon, hollow ware, ignoramus, issue, knives, ladle, lollygag, make love, make out, measure out, mete, mete out, moron, neck, numskull, parcel out, pass around, pay out, pet, portion out, pour, scoop, shovel, silver, silver plate, silverware, simpleton, smooch, spade, spoon out, spoons, stainless-steel ware, sweet-talk, tablespoon, tableware, teaspoon, toy, trifle, wanton, whisper sweet nothings
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