Spoon is such a funny word, and yet it is a word which is in daily use, especially in the country where tea prevails… or maybe now coffee… although going into coffee shops you are quite likely to get a small wooden spill to use as a ‘stirrer’.

I wondered where the word spoon came from, thinking it might be Anglo-Saxon, but no, the Anglo-Saxon for spoon is ‘cucler’… I’m guessing that has a Latin origin because Latin for spoon is coclear; coclear sounds just like cochlear as in ears, is that because it’s spoon shaped?

I’m wandering away from ‘spoon’ comes from ‘spon’ which is old English for a chip or splinter of wood, and i guess early spoons were made of wood; the on-line etymological dictionary gives a full lineage for the word: Old Norse spannsponn “chip, splinter,” Swedish spån “a wooden spoon,” Old Frisian spon, Middle Dutch spaen, Dutch spaan, Old High German span, GermanSpan “chip, splinter” but it also goes on to suggest a connection or a coincidental similarity with Greek:  Greek spathe “spade,” also possibly Greek sphen “wedge”

At one point, when my son was small, he used to use the word ‘spoon’ as a mild expletive, ‘Oh spoon!’, later when he was at school and playing sports it became a rallying cry “Spoon!! Spoon!! Spoon, lads spoon!”

Spoon also can be used as a verb, meaning to flirt, or to court, or to be lovey-dovey with your sweetheart, and these days it can mean to be lying in bed with someone and curl round them like a pair of spoons. Playing the spoons… well, that’s a whole different use of the word when the cutlery item becomes a percussion instrument:



  1. tinasrabbithole

    This dude is awesome!
    🙂 I have nothing more enlightening to add to your chain of thoughts, other than that spoons seem to be much more popular than knives and forks at the salvation army.. you can never find one!


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