Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

silver spoon

A metaphor for ample wealth that has been passed down through inheritance. (Used primarily in the phrase "born with a silver spoon in (one's) mouth.") We may both be wealthy now, but I never had a silver spoon growing up. I had nothing when I was young, and all of my fortune is down to my own hard work. Everyone who attends that university was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, so I just don't think it's the right place for me.
See also: silver, spoon

born with a silver spoon in one's mouth

Fig. born into wealth and privilege. James doesn't know anything about working for a living; he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Most of the students at the exclusive private college were born with silver spoons in their mouths.
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

greasy spoon

Fig. a cheap diner, where the silverware might not be too clean. The corner greasy spoon is always busy at lunchtime.
See also: greasy, spoon

He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

Prov. If you have dealings with dangerous people, you must be careful that they do not harm you. If you're going to hang out with that disreputable bunch of people, keep in mind that he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.
See also: devil, have, he, long, should, spoon, sup, who

spoon something out

to serve something out, as with a spoon; to give something out, as with a spoon. The cook spooned the beans out, giving plenty to each camper. The cook spooned out the beans.
See also: out, spoon

spoon something up

to serve something that requires finding and bringing up out of a pot with a spoon. The cook spooned the hard-cooked eggs up one by one. The cook spooned up chunks of meat from the stew.
See also: spoon, up

spoon-feed someone

Fig. to treat someone with too much care or help; to teach someone with methods that are too easy and do not stimulate the learner to independent thinking. The teacher spoon-feeds the students by dictating notes on the novel instead of getting the children to read the books. You mustn't spoon-feed the new recruits by telling them what to do all the time. They must use their initiative.

born with a silver spoon in your mouth

to have opportunities that you did not earn but that you have from the influence of your family Bill was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth – he came from a poor family and earned his success through hard work.
Etymology: from the idea that silver spoons were given at birth to wealthy children
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

be born with a silver spoon in your mouth

to be the son or daughter of a very rich family His complete lack of concern about money is natural of someone who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

a greasy spoon

a small, cheap restaurant which mainly serves fried food of a low quality There's a greasy spoon on the corner of his street where he usually has breakfast.
See also: greasy, spoon

be spoon-fed

to be given too much help or information When I was at school we weren't spoon-fed, we had to work things out for ourselves.

the wooden spoon

  (British & Australian)
an imaginary prize given to the person who finishes last in a race or competition For the second year running Ireland took the wooden spoon in the Rugby tournament.
See also: spoon, wooden

born with a silver spoon

Born wealthy, or fortunate, or both, as in Paul can afford to go to medical school; he was born with a silver spoon. Although some authorities believe this phrase alludes to the custom of godparents giving their godchild a silver spoon, affordable only by rich persons, it is more likely that the spoon has come to symbolize wealth. [c. 1700]
See also: born, silver, spoon

greasy spoon

A cheap restaurant, especially one serving short-order fried foods. For example, College students short of cash tend to eat a lot in that greasy spoon. This expression also implies that the restaurant is not very clean. [c. 1900]
See also: greasy, spoon

spoon out

To distribute something from a container with a spoon: The cook spooned out the soup into a bowl. I spooned the ice cream out to the kids, making sure they all got the same amount.
See also: out, spoon


and (flake) spoon
n. a small spoon used to carry powdered cocaine to a nostril. (Drugs.) The principal wrote a letter to Mrs. Simpson telling her that Jimmy had brought a cokespoon to school. She used an old-fashioned flake spoon right until she died.

flake spoon

See also: flake, spoon



greasy spoon

n. an untidy and unappetizing diner or restaurant. Let’s eat at the greasy spoon over on Maple. The food is gross, but the people-watching is good.
See also: greasy, spoon


1. in. to neck and pet. They like to go out and spoon under the stars.
2. Go to cokespoon, (flake) spoon.

born with a silver spoon in his or her mouth

Financial and social advantages from family connections. It was traditional when a child was christened for the godparents to give a silver spoon as a gift or as soon afterwards as they could afford one (if they ever could). However, a child born into a wealthy family always received one at the ceremony. Such infants so privileged were said, often enviously, to have been “born with a silver spoon in their mouth,” and the image followed them throughout their lives.
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

gag me with a spoon

A exclamation indicating disgust. “Val-speak” was an idiom created in the 1970s by so-called Valley Girls, reputedly materialistic and self-centered young women who lived in California's San Fernando Valley (outside Los Angeles). Their vocabulary and speech patterns swept the country, propelled by popular music, television shows, and such movies as “Clueless” (based on Jane Austen's novel Emma). Like other fads, linguistic or otherwise, Val-speak disappeared almost as quickly as it had burst on the scene. Where once the staple “gag me with a spoon” (meaning that something was awful enough to induce nausea), was widely heard, it's gone the way of “well, dog my cat” and other archaisms. That's not to say that all Val-speak has disappeared. “As if ” (“that's not going to happen”), “duh!” (“that's obvious”), and the ubiquitous “like” are heard wherever the English language is used . . . and misused.
See also: gag, spoon
References in classic literature ?
Mrs Squeers stood at one of the desks, presiding over an immense basin of brimstone and treacle, of which delicious compound she administered a large instalment to each boy in succession: using for the purpose a common wooden spoon, which might have been originally manufactured for some gigantic top, and which widened every young gentleman's mouth considerably: they being all obliged, under heavy corporal penalties, to take in the whole of the bowl at a gasp.
Just over,' said Mrs Squeers, choking the last boy in her hurry, and tapping the crown of his head with the wooden spoon to restore him.
I see traces of the turtle soup, and venison, and gold spoon in this.
The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon.
We spent half an hour idling through the palace, admiring the cosy apartments and the rich but eminently home-like appointments of the place, and then the Imperial family bade our party a kind good-bye, and proceeded to count the spoons.
When it was time to go, we bade our distinguished hosts good-bye, and they retired happy and contented to their apartments to count their spoons.
As for one dozen well-manufactured silver spoons and forks at per oz.
His present of money, needful as it was, made little impression on his parents; and I have heard Amelia say that the first day on which she saw her father lift up his head after the failure was on the receipt of the packet of forks and spoons with the young stockbrokers' love, over which he burst out crying like a child, being greatly more affected than even his wife, to whom the present was addressed.
Mr friend Mr Bounderby could never see any difference between leaving the Coketown 'hands' exactly as they were, and requiring them to be fed with turtle soup and venison out of gold spoons.
They don't make a noise, anyway, though I'm really afraid for our landlady's silver spoons .
Amalia Ivanovna ran about the room, shouting at the top of her voice, that she was mistress of the house and that Katerina Ivanovna should leave the lodgings that minute; then she rushed for some reason to collect the silver spoons from the table.
The coin which forms the bowl of the other spoon is a Portuguese silver 400 reis Cruzado from 1816.
So, ditch the teabags and start serving real tea measured from the caddy by a collectable spoon like these.
Edward Spoon was one of a select few physicians honored with the prestigious 2012 Compassionate Doctor Certification.
Whether they are looking to prepare a quick delicious meal or just need help in making the same dish more than once, our Thermo-Sensor spoon and cooking thermometer make it more convenient for them to accomplish just that.