the wooden spoon

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the wooden spoon

The imaginary prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't get the wooden spoon!
See also: spoon, wooden
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the wooden spoon

BRITISH
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.
See also: spoon, wooden
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in classic literature ?
"Would you like a little mash?" the first soldier asked, and handed Pierre a wooden spoon after licking it clean.
The milk was good for Pavel, who was often sick, and he could make butter by beating sour cream with a wooden spoon. Peter was very fond of his cow.
"Bad luck crushes bulls as easily as bullaces; and, I believe, the fury dogs you: you were born with a wooden spoon in your mouth, depend on it."
"I believe you; sad I mean to make my wooden spoon do the work of some people's silver ladles: grasped firmly, and handled nimbly, even a wooden spoon will shovel up broth."
Take each leek piece and use the end of a wooden spoon to push out the light coloured centre layers, leaving a small area in the centre of the leek for stuffing.
Remove from the heat, add the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it forms a thick, sticky dough.
Beat the egg and sugar together using a wooden spoon.
Add the oats and the fruit and nuts and mix in thoroughly with a wooden spoon, making sure the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed.
In fact, to feel confident that I can put together a good meal using whatever's around, all I really need is some garlic, a little olive oil and a wooden spoon. For other people, the first two of that threesome will vary - but the third should always stay the same.
It said believed that Bond's gadget expert Q would suggest his drink be stirred with either a wooden spoon, a wooden coffee stirrer or, if improvising like 007, even a pencil.
He said: "If this was the last game and neither side had won it would be correct to label this a wooden spoon decider but we still have three games to play.
Muhammed Rashad, 29, strangled his wife Zahida then battered her with a wooden spoon after she failed to answer the phone.
garlic in your stainless steel cookware and stir with a wooden spoon shaped for the job.
Whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture and place over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.