Etymology
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spade (n.1)
"tool for digging," Old English spadu "spade," from Proto-Germanic *spadan (source also of Old Frisian spada "a spade," Middle Dutch spade "a sword," Old Saxon spado, Middle Low German spade, German Spaten), from PIE *spe-dh-, from root *spe- (2) "long, flat piece of wood" (source also of Greek spathe "wooden blade, paddle," Old English spon "chip of wood, splinter," Old Norse spann "shingle, chip;" see spoon (n.)).

"A spade differs from a two-handed shovel chiefly in the form and thickness of the blade" [Century Dictionary]. To call a spade a spade "use blunt language, call things by right names" (1540s) translates a Greek proverb (known to Lucian), ten skaphen skaphen legein "to call a bowl a bowl," but Erasmus mistook Greek skaphe "trough, bowl" for a derivative of the stem of skaptein "to dig," and the mistake has stuck [see OED].
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spade (n.2)

black figure on playing cards," 1590s, probably from Italian spade, plural of spada "the ace of spades," literally "sword, spade," from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)). Phrase in spades "in abundance" first recorded 1929 (Damon Runyon), probably from bridge, where spades are the highest-ranking suit.

The invitations to the musicale came sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes. [O.Henry, "Cabbages & Kings," 1904]

Derogatory meaning "black person" is 1928, from the color of the playing card symbol.

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spatula (n.)
1520s (from early 15c. as a type of medical instrument), from Latin spatula "broad piece, spatula," diminutive of spatha "broad, flat tool or weapon," from Greek spathe "broad flat blade (used by weavers)" (see spade (n.1)). Erroneous form spattular is attested from c. 1600.
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epaulet (n.)
also epaulette, "shoulder ornament on a uniform," 1783, from French épaulette "an epaulet" (16c.), diminutive of épaule "shoulder," from Old French espaule (12c.), from Latin spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," in Medieval Latin "shoulder blade," diminutive of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Greek spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (n.1)).
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spay (v.)

early 15c., "stab with a sword, kill," also "remove the ovaries of (a hunting dog)," from Anglo-French espeier "cut with a sword," Old French espeer, espaer, from espee "sword" (Modern French épée), from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)). Compare Greek spadon "eunuch." Related: Spayed; spaying.

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sap (v.1)

"dig a trench toward the enemy's position," 1590s, from French saper, from sappe "spade," from Late Latin sappa "spade" (source also of Italian zappa, Spanish zapa "spade"). Extended sense "weaken or destroy insidiously" is from 1755, probably influenced by the verb form of sap (n.1), on the notion of "draining the vital sap from." Related: Sapped; sapping.

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beche-de-mer (n.)
"sea-slug eaten as a delicacy in the Western Pacific," 1814, from French bêche-de-mer, literally "spade of the sea," a folk-etymology alteration of Portuguese bicho do mar "sea-slug," literally "worm of the sea."
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spud (n.)
mid-15c., "small or poor knife," of uncertain origin probably related to Danish spyd, Old Norse spjot "spear," German Spiess "spear, lance"). Meaning "spade" is from 1660s; sense of "short or stumpy person or thing" is from 1680s; that of "potato" is first recorded 1845 in New Zealand English.
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scoop (n.)
early 14c., "utensil for bailing out," from Middle Dutch schope "bucket for bailing water," from West Germanic *skopo (source also of Middle Low German schope "ladle"), from Proto-Germanic *skop-, from PIE *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (see scabies). Also from Middle Dutch schoepe "a scoop, shovel" (Dutch schop "a spade," related to German Schüppe "a shovel," also "a spade at cards").

Meaning "action of scooping" is from 1742; that of "amount in a scoop" is from 1832. Sense of "a big haul, as if in a scoop net" is from 1893. The journalistic sense of "news published before a rival" is first recorded 1874, American English, from earlier commercial slang verbal sense of "appropriate so as to exclude competitors" (c. 1850).
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peel (n.2)

"wooden shovel with a broad blade and a long handle," used by bakers, etc., late 14c.. pele, from Old French pele (Modern French pelle) "shovel," from Latin pala "spade, shovel, baker's peel, shoulder blade," related to pangere "to insert firmly," probably from PIE *pag-slo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten."

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