A knife has a handle and a blade. A spoon has a handle and a... Bowl? A fork has a handle and... Spikes? Prongs?

I guess this can be extended to more esoteric cutlery such as sporks.

closed as off-topic by curiousdannii, lbf, JJ for Transparency and Monica, Reinstate Monica, Canis Lupus May 2 at 0:25

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  • 1
    For a fork, it's prongs (in British English). – TrevorD Apr 28 at 17:52
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    While we're at it, the metal part of the blade that extends into a wooden handle is called the tang. – samerivertwice Apr 28 at 18:27
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    In AmE (at least in my experience) it’s always tines for a fork whether it’s a dinner fork or a pitchfork. Ask The Two Ronnies about the other end of fork: 🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️... – Jim Apr 29 at 5:06
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    @TrevorD - As a BrE speaker, I immediately thought "tines" (although I understand "prongs"). Is this regional? – Martin Bonner supports Monica Apr 29 at 7:37
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    I'm from the North-West and have never heard "tines", but my manager, also from the North-West, thought of "tines" instantly too. – Adam Barnes Apr 29 at 9:54

A spoon has a bowl. A fork merges at its neck into a root carrying prongs or tines

enter image description here
enter image description here
Source: Visual dictionary online 1 and 2

  • According to the image, the merge would happen at the root, with the root connected to the neck. It doesn't merge at the neck. – jpmc26 Apr 29 at 19:01
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    I'm surprised the word prong isn't on the fork image at all. – axsvl77 Apr 30 at 0:57
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    As a slight aside: With a neck on both a spoon and fork, it certainly wouldn't seem misplaced to call anything beyond that the "head." I've definitely heard them called that before. – Dan Apr 30 at 13:12
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    @poepje Companies that make spoons probably don't find it strange. They have to call each part something. – Apologize and reinstate Monica Apr 30 at 14:22
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    It's worth noting that most people won't be familiar with most of these terms, though that's more because people don't often talk about the anatomy of cutlery than because there are any more familiar terms. – Hearth Apr 30 at 14:54


the hollow of a spoon


enter image description here


  • 1
    Duplicate of the answer above. – TheSimpliFire Apr 29 at 7:31
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    @TheSimpliFire "above" and "below" are unreliable ways to refer to answers on SE. The order can change depending on voting. (In this case, probably not because the answer from Hitch-22 answers both parts of the question; but as a general rule: beware.) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Apr 29 at 7:39
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    This answer came in after the other, but the other answer was very different. It didn't have this image, for instance. – Adam Barnes Apr 29 at 8:37
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    @TheSimpliFire from the edit history, at the time this answer was posted the other answer not only had no image or reference but in fact gave a different answer for the spoon ("head" rather than "bowl"). – Especially Lime Apr 29 at 8:37

More generally, the part of any implement that performs its function is known as the business end.

[T]he end with, from, or through which a thing's function is fulfilled

American Heritage Dictionary:
The part of a weapon or tool, usually at the front, that inflicts damage or performs work.


In Dutch we called the pointy end of the fork the "teeth". Wikipedia also lists this usage in English with respect to pitchforks (emphasis by editor):

Tines (also tynes), prongs or teeth are parallel or branching spikes forming parts of a tool or natural object.


Tines may be blunt, such as those on a fork used as an eating utensil; or sharp, as on a pitchfork; or even barbed, as on a trident.

  • In English the word is "prongs" or "tines". – Dietrich Epp Apr 30 at 14:52
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    Welcome to StackExchange! While I appreciate the cultural enrichment (genuinely), this is the English language network. I don't believe your answer belongs here. – Adam Barnes Apr 30 at 16:31
  • JJJ's edit made the answer more on-topic. – Kodos Johnson Apr 30 at 18:22
  • Thank you for the comment @KodosJohnson; I've removed my downvote. – Adam Barnes Apr 30 at 19:40

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