Lazy Susan

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A lazy Susan is a turntable or revolving tray, generally set in the middle of a table, which distributes food. Often, a lazy Susan is used to distribute spices or condiments. The earliest lazy Susans appeared in the early 1700s, when household staffs became more streamlined and there were less hands available to serve dinner. Originally, lazy Susans were referred to as dumb waiters. The term lazy Susan first appears in print in the early 1900s, though the term is surely older. The story that the lazy Susan was invented by Thomas Jefferson because of his lazy daughter is apocryphal. A more plausible origin story is that at one time the name Susan was a generic term for a female servant, and having a turntable to serve one’s guests was a reasonable substitute for a lazy Susan. The term lazy Susan is often capitalized as in Lazy Susan, but the Oxford English Dictionary prefers to only capitalize the woman’s proper name, as in lazy Susan.


Having a Lazy Susan will “keep us from saying ‘please’ and ‘pass something,’” said Ruth Lang, one of the residents. (The Muskogee Daily Phoenix)

Dubbed the “accessible edible garden,” Haynes’ creation amounts to a giant Lazy Susan: a truck axle combined with a sturdy metal base to support an 8-foot-diameter redwood top. (The Los Angeles Times)

If you have a corner cabinet with awkwardly deep storage space, you can get easy access to pots and pans with a lazy Susan designed especially for corner cabinets. (The Houston Chronicle)

She nodded toward the Borg-Warner Trophy, the 5-foot tall Indy 500 winner’s trophy, which was rotating slowly on a sort of mechanical lazy Susan. (The Indianapolis Star)