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Spork

A spork is an eating utensil which is a hybrid of a spoon and a fork. The word spork is a portmanteau, which is a word that fuses the sounds and meaning of two words. A spork sports the bowl shape of a spoon and the tines of a fork, the tines are shortened. There were many designs and patents for spork-like utensils beginning in the 1800s, but the word spork isn’t found until 1909. A United States patent for an invention that is named a spork isn’t granted until the 1970s. Today, sporks are mainly manufactured in plastic for fast food and picnic use. Spork is not listed as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary, though sometimes one does find it used as a verb, related words are sporks, sporked, sporking.

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Examples

A final spork will be tossed unceremoniously into the trash in a New York City school cafeteria sometime next year, ending the 30-year reign of the flimsy plastic fork-spoon combo in the nation’s largest school system. (The Columbia Daily Tribune)

A Dr. Seuss tree features a small Grinch looking like he’s about to run off with it; a grab-and-go breakfast tree is topped with a silver-painted spork star; a sports tree is wrapped with baseball uniform belt garland; and six more trees glitter with similarly unique decorations. (The Meridian Record-Journal)

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a spork is a spoon-shaped eating utensil with short tines at the tip, but that’s not how the term is most often used. (The Dallas Observer)

And to save weight, I even jettisoned my 6-ounce bowl, so I spork my food right out of the pouch. (The POughkeepsie Journal)

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