Etymology
Advertisement
spoon (n.)

Old English spon "chip, sliver, shaving, splinter of wood," from Proto-Germanic *spe-nu- (source also of Old Norse spann, sponn "chip, splinter," Swedish spån "a wooden spoon," Old Frisian spon, Middle Dutch spaen, Dutch spaan, Old High German span, German Span "chip, splinter"), from PIE *spe- (2) "long, flat piece of wood" (source also of Greek spathe "spade," also possibly Greek sphen "wedge").

As the word for a type of eating utensil, c. 1300 in English (in Old English such a thing might be a metesticca), in this sense supposed to be from Old Norse sponn, which meant "spoon" as well as "chip, tile." The "eating utensil" sense is specific to Middle English and Scandinavian, though Middle Low German spon also meant "wooden spatula." To be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth is from at least 1719 (Goldsmith, 1765, has: "one man is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and another with a wooden ladle").

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
spoon (v.)
1715, "to dish out with a spoon," from spoon (n.). The meaning "court, flirt sentimentally" is first recorded 1831, a back-formation from spoony (adj.) "soft, silly, weak-minded, foolishly sentimental." Related: Spooned; spooning.
Related entries & more 
spoon-feed (v.)
"to feed (someone) with a spoon," 1610s, from spoon (n.) + feed (v.). Figurative sense is attested by 1864. Related: Spoon-fed.
Related entries & more 
spoonbill (n.)
1670s, from spoon (n.) + bill (n.2); after Dutch lepelaar (from lepel "spoon").
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
tablespoon (n.)
spoon used in table-service, 1763, from table (n.) + spoon (n.).
Related entries & more 
teaspoon (n.)
1680s, from tea + spoon (n.). Related: teaspoonful.
Related entries & more 
spoony (adj.)
1812, "soft, silly, weak-minded;" by 1836 as "foolishly sentimental," with -y (2) + spoon (n.) in a slang sense "silly person, simpleton" (1799), a figurative use of the eating utensil word, perhaps based on the notion of shallowness. Related: Spoonily; spooniness.
Related entries & more