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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
noun: A utensil that is a combination of a fork and spoon. Also known as a spork.
adjective: Shaped like a combination fork and spoon.
Coined as a nonsense word by the poet Edward Lear (1812-1888) in 1871.
A runcible or spork is the love child of a spoon + fork, but that’s not what the word meant in the beginning. Edward Lear coined the word in the poem “The Owl and the Pussycat”:
They dined on mince, and slices of quinceWhat runcible meant was left to the imagination of the reader. Lear later used the same word to describe other things: cat, hat, goose, and wall. Eventually, the word took the sense of a spoon that can do the job of both a fork and a spoon.
Which they ate with a runcible spoon
If a spoon and a fork mate to give birth to a runcible or spork, what happens when other pieces of cutlery get together? Luis Giles has done the analysis.
“Hello, we said, to the beautiful dark starlit bar and the luxury therein: the runcible spoons with their slippery cargo: the snarled silk of tinned bean sprout, the wrinkled flame of the dried lily.”
Lynn Emanuel; The Dig and Hotel Fiesta; University of Illinois Press; 1994.
See more usage examples of runcible in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Form follows function. -Louis Sullivan, architect (3 Sep 1856-1924)