take the wooden spoon

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take the wooden spoon

To finish a contest or competition in last place. (The "wooden spoon" is an imaginary prize said to be awarded to the competitor in last place.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I may not have taken the wooden spoon, but that was still one of the worst tournament performances of my career. Even though his team took the wooden spoon last season, Edwards feels confident that they have as good a chance as any to win the championship this year.
See also: spoon, take, wooden

get, win, take, etc. the ˌwooden ˈspoon

(British English, informal) come last in a race or competition: England must win this match if they are to avoid taking the wooden spoon.It was a custom at the University of Cambridge to give a wooden spoon to the student of mathematics who had the lowest mark/grade for their year.
See also: spoon, wooden
References in periodicals archive ?
Wales finished as runners-up to England in Hull 2012 and in 2016 in Rochdale, but took the wooden spoon in Medway in the 2014 edition.
Space and Style took the wooden spoon for the fourth straight week, and it fell on Miranda Romjin to collect it from the podium.
Another hero of 1987 and current goalkeeper coach Steve Ogrizovic finished joint fourth on 36 points with former midfielder Craig Pead, while Stokes (29 pts) came 11th and Graham Newton - who scored three goals in eight games under Jimmy Hill in 1964 - took the wooden spoon among the former players after returning to the clubhouse with nine points.
In MONEYSAVINGEXPERT's poll last month it took the wooden spoon for home phone customer service, while 40% rated its broadband customer service as poor."
Once again Shea took the wooden spoon with 14.93 per cent of the vote.
The 18-year-old was selected to represent England and was among the points as the host nation won the tournament with 28 points from Ireland on 23.5, Scotland 22 and Wales took the wooden spoon with 16.5.
The 45-year-old said while he loved life in his adopted home Abu Dhabi, he was not surprised Baghdad took the wooden spoon.
England finished second with 18 fish and 829 points; Scotland managed nine trout and 401 points and Ireland took the wooden spoon with just seven fish and 330 points.
Ireland took the wooden spoon after losing 120-100 to Wales.
He also took the wooden spoon in the Premier League.
KPMG took the wooden spoon after managing to win just one game and finishing in last place.
At the other end, GRAND took the wooden spoon, shedding a massive 6.26 per cent to dhs3.89.
Peterlee - the only side not to taste victory in this campaign, took the wooden spoon, being 105 points adrift of second-bottom Washington, who drew with Ryhope.
Tonga took the wooden spoon for 12th place after they were beaten 44-39 by Russia in a see-saw game where the lead regularly changed hands.
Scotland took the wooden spoon off Wales, but they showed signs in Dublin that they are not quite as bad as their record suggests.
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