The word "splade" is contraction of 'spoon' and 'blade' (ie. knife). A Splade is a piece of cutlery that combines a knife, fork and spoon, with the emphasis being on the knife and fork aspects, more so than the spoon functionality. One edge of a splade is usually sharpened to provide an adequate cutting edge (ie. it is may not be as sharp as a standard dining knife).
An alternative (although less common) spelling is "splayd".
A splade is not a spork. A spork is more likely to be plastic (as provided with a meal from a fast food outlet) and has an emphasis on fork and spoon functions. A splade is also different from a foon - I would consider a spork and a foon to be synonymous.
The Comfort Zone (a program on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National station) did a story about splades in 2000. Here's what I can remember from this program:
- Splades were invented in Australia, mid-last century (sometime in the 1950s - 1960s).
- They gained popularity in the 1970s, particularly at buffets and cocktail parties. People standing around, with a plate of food in one hand could only manage one piece of cutlery... the splade solved the problem by combining three pieces of cutlery into one.
My grandmother had a set of 6 splades. They were stainless steel, with a chequered pattern in black on the handle. She gave them to my parents when I was a kid, so we always had splades in the cutlery drawer.
References (All worked on May 24, 2003.)
- The Comfort Zone: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/czone/stories/s220214.htm
- Definitions: http://www.householdchina.on.ca/glossary1.htm#S and http://www.oneida.com/static/silversmithsglossary.asp
- Anne, an Austalian expat in the US, discusses the splade, the spork and more: http://www.aussieinamerica.com/eating/forks.htm
- Splades are good for camping: http://www.northerndisposals.com.au/product.asp?code=CUT00290&Tc=
Some other ideas for cultery combinations that I came across while writing this node (on Half Bakery - www.halfbakery.com):
- Knork (A fork with a dull knife on the edge)
- Knirk (knife-fork)