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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.
A small restaurant or diner, especially one that serves fried foods. Every time I go on a road trip, I make it a point to stop at a greasy spoon for at least one of my meals.
stick (one's) spoon in the wall
1. To move into a new place of residence. The phrase refers to an outdated practice of hanging a pouch for small tools on the wall of one's home. A: "Has she stuck her spoon in the wall?" B: "Yes, and she seems to be settling into her new place nicely."
2. To die. Did you hear that Walter stuck his spoon in the wall? What a shame. I think the funeral is next Tuesday.
born with a silver spoon in (one's) mouth
Born into a wealthy family. We may both be wealthy now, but I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. 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 their mouth, so I just don't think it's the right place for me.
1. Literally, to have food inserted into one's mouth by another person. My mother had to be spoon-fed for a while after her stroke. No, my daughter is off the bottle now—she's spoon-fed.
2. By extension, to be helped excessively by someone else (usually to the recipient's detriment). Those students are lazy because they are always spoon-fed the answers by their teacher. The actress got so flustered in front of the camera that she had to be spoon-fed her lines. How unprofessional!
1. Literally, to insert food into another person's mouth. The nurses had to spoon-feed my mother after her stroke. No, my daughter is off the bottle now—we're spoon-feeding her.
2. By extension, to help someone excessively (usually to the recipient's detriment). Her students are lazy because she always spoon-feeds them the answers. The actress got so flustered in front of the camera that we had to spoon-feed her the lines. How unprofessional!
the wooden spoon
The hypothetical prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't get the wooden spoon!
be born with a silver spoon in (one's) mouth
To be born into a wealthy family. We may both be wealthy now, but I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. 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 their mouth, so I just don't think it's the right place for me.
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.
Fig. a cheap diner, where the silverware might not be too clean. The corner greasy spoon is always busy at lunchtime.
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.
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.
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.
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
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]
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]
born with a silver spoon in your mouth
If you say that someone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, you mean that their parents were very rich. He's wealthy now but he certainly wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Note: You can use silver-spoon before a noun to describe a person like this or their lifestyle. Hers was no silver-spoon upbringing. Note: You often use this expression to show disapproval. Note: This expression goes back to the 17th century. The reference is to babies from wealthy families being fed using silver spoons.
a greasy spoonINFORMAL
A greasy spoon is a small, cheap, unattractive café that serves mostly fried food. We ate at a greasy spoon called the Step Inn Cafe.
the wooden spoonBRITISH
COMMON If you say that someone gets the wooden spoon, you mean that they are the last in a race or competition or are the worst at a particular activity. Cosmos will almost certainly get the wooden-spoon for the second year in a row if they lose. Britain's bureaucrats won the EU's wooden spoon yesterday, as the worst linguists in Brussels. Note: You can use wooden spoon before a noun. After their third defeat, the Hawks have confirmed their place as wooden spoon contenders this season. Note: At one time, the student who got the lowest marks in their final mathematics exam at Cambridge University was given a wooden spoon.
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.
cokespoonand (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.
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.
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.
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.