- March 1, 2014
- Posted by: Madrigal Admin
- Category: Word of the Week Blog
I have come across the crazy world of multifunction tableware, strange cutlery or, what US speakers would call, strange flatware (technically cutlery should only be used for knives but UK English has made it the general term for tableware; the US more precisely call spoons and forks flatware).
In a previous post I was trying to find a word that distinguishes a fork with four tines (or prongs) from a fork with three tines. I was unsuccessful but I did stumble on this whole new cutlery vocabulary.
A spork (or a foon) has the form of a spoon-like shallow scoop with three or four fork tines. The spork may also be called a runcible spoon, from the term coined by Edward Lear (it was his 200th birthday in 2013) in The Owl and the Pussycat. It is also known as a LuHa, an abbreviated form of lusikkahaarukka, which is Finnish for spoon-fork (a Finnish lusikkahaarukka is a spoon-fork cutlery combination issued in army mess kits).
A knork (knife x fork) combines the cutting capability of a knife and the spearing capability of a fork into a single utensil.
A spife (spoon x knife) is a table tool where the blade of a knife is used as the handle of the spoon, it is used for cutting soft fruit (it is obviously not sharp enough to cut your fingers while you hold it). These may also be referred to as knoons (knife x spoon).
A sporf is a single eating cutlery utensil combining the properties of a spoon, fork, and knife. A brand, invented in the 1940s in Australia is known as a Splayd.