Entries linking to spork
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").
Old English forca, force "pitchfork, forked instrument, forked weapon," from a Germanic borrowing (Old Frisian forke, Dutch vork, Old Norse forkr, Danish fork) of Latin furca "two-pronged fork; pitchfork; fork used in cooking," a word of uncertain origin. Old English also had forcel "pitchfork." From c. 1200 as "forked stake or post" (as a gallows or prop).
Table forks are said to have been not used among the nobility in England until 15c. and not common until early 17c. The word is first attested in this sense in English in an inventory from 1430, probably from Old North French forque (Old French furche, Modern French fourche), from the Latin word. Of rivers, from 1753; of roads, from 1839. As a bicycle part from 1871. As a chess attack on two pieces simultaneously by one (usually a knight), it dates from 1650s. In old slang, forks "the two forefingers" is from 1812.
updated on January 25, 2013
Dictionary entries near spork