Can you please elaborate what's "rounded" teaspoon, what's "heaped" teaspoon and what other "types" of teaspoons exists as a measures of volume?

And is there any difference between, rounded teaspoon and rounded teaspoon*ful*?

  • General reference for the first part (seriously, try putting "rounded teaspoon" into Google); no difference for the second part. – Karl Knechtel Mar 1 '12 at 8:56
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    "Heaping"? Heaped, surely? – slim Mar 1 '12 at 9:34
  • Definitely heaped - slim has this right – Rory Alsop Mar 1 '12 at 10:47
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    @slim and Rory: sorry, Ngrams shows 'heaping' is American and 'heaped' British. – Peter Shor Mar 1 '12 at 11:36

You have a teaspoon, which measures volume - usually in some ovular, concave measuring device. Let's say you're measuring a teaspoon of something granular, like flour, coffee or sugar.

1 tsp (or 1 level tsp) means that the top of what you're measuring is flat; no sugar goes above the top of the spoon.

1 rounded tsp means you scoop a spoonful of sugar, and let it form a small pile above the top of the spoon. It is inherently less precise than a level teaspoon.

1 heaping tsp means you pretty much try to get as big a pile of sugar onto the spoon as you can, without spilling it. It's a little over a smidgen more than a rounded teaspoon. Helpful hint: Don't try to measure a heaping teaspoon when dealing with liquids.

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No, the -ful suffix has no effect on the amount.

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    That's interesting - heaping tsp looks really weird to me, but a few seconds with NGrams confirms this is another of those US/UK usage splits. The line for heaped tsp disappears completely when the corpus is restricted to American books - obviously they must almost all be the British usages, even though there aren't enough to graph at all when the corpus is restricted to British books. – FumbleFingers Mar 1 '12 at 12:51
  • @FumbleFingers Before this, I have not heard of "heaping" teaspoonfuls... sounds like hooting night-owls.. :) You will see the BrE contribution if you expand the tsp: books.google.com/ngrams/… – karthik Mar 1 '12 at 13:54
  • I believe it's a term used in cookbooks and recipes, but not much else. – J.R. Mar 1 '12 at 14:51
  • “usually in some ovular concave measuring device” — what, like not a convex one, then? :) – tchrist Mar 2 '12 at 2:38
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    @tchrist: only if you're measuring upside-down. If that's how to do it, though, I'll pass on your cookies ;^/ – J.R. Mar 2 '12 at 10:42

There is also the "scant teaspoon" (example here). It's slightly less than a level teaspoon.

Note that "scant" sometimes means "barely" but in this context it means "not quite."

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