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A table spoon
A fishing spoon
A hand grenade with spoon (lever) at right


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English spoon, spoune, spone, spon (spoon, chip of wood), from Old English spōn (sliver, chip of wood, shaving), from Proto-Germanic *spēnuz (chip, flake, shaving), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peh₂- (chip, shaving, log, length of wood). Cognate with Scots spun, spon (spoon, shingle), Saterland Frisian Spoune (chip; flake; splinter), West Frisian spoen, Dutch spaan (chip, flinders), German Low German Spoon (thin piece of wood, shaving), German Span (chip, flake, shaving), Swedish spån (chip, cutting), Norwegian spon (chip), Faroese spónur (wood chip; spoon), Icelandic spánn, spónn, Ancient Greek σφήν (sphḗn, wedge). Eclipsed non-native Middle English cuculer and Middle English cuclear (spoon) both ultimately borrowed from the Latin.


spoon (plural spoons)

  1. An implement for eating or serving; a scooped utensil whose long handle is straight, in contrast to a ladle.
    • Shakespeare
      He must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.
  2. An implement for stirring food while being prepared; a wooden spoon.
  3. A measure that will fit into a spoon; a spoonful.
  4. (golf, archaic) A wooden-headed golf club with moderate loft, similar to the modern three wood.
  5. (slang) An oar.
    • 1877, The Country (volumes 1-2, page 339)
      To this class college rowing offers no attractions or place, nor are they generally looked upon by the artists of the "spoons" as a desirable addition []
  6. (fishing) A type of metal lure resembling the concave head of a table spoon.
  7. (dentistry, informal) A spoon excavator.
  8. (figuratively, slang, archaic) A simpleton, a spooney.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hood to this entry?)
  9. (US, military) A safety handle on a hand grenade, a trigger.
Derived termsEdit


spoon (third-person singular simple present spoons, present participle spooning, simple past and past participle spooned)

  1. To serve using a spoon.
    Sarah spooned some apple sauce onto her plate.
  2. (intransitive, dated) To flirt; to make advances; to court, to interact romantically or amorously.
  3. (transitive or intransitive, informal, of persons) To lie nestled front-to-back, following the contours of the bodies, in a manner reminiscent of stacked spoons.
  4. (tennis, golf, croquet) To hit (the ball) weakly, pushing it with a lifting motion, instead of striking with an audible knock.
    • 2012 June 28, Jamie Jackson, “Wimbledon 2012: Lukas Rosol shocked by miracle win over Rafael Nadal”, in the Guardian[1]:
      Rosol spurned the chance to finish off a shallow second serve by spooning into the net, and a wild forehand took the set to 5-4, with the native of Prerov required to hold his serve for victory.
  5. (intransitive) To fish with a concave spoon bait.
  6. (transitive) To catch by fishing with a concave spoon bait.
    • Mrs. Humphry Ward
      He had with him all the tackle necessary for spooning pike.
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Origin uncertain. Compare spoom.


spoon (third-person singular simple present spoons, present participle spooning, simple past and past participle spooned)

  1. Alternative form of spoom
    • Samuel Pepys
      We might have spooned before the wind as well as they.
Derived termsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of spone