A spatula is a small implement with a broad, flat, flexible blade used to mix, spread and lift materials including foods, drugs, plaster and paints. It derives from the Latin word for a flat piece of wood or splint (a diminutive form of the Latin spatha, meaning broadsword), and hence can also refer to a tongue depressor. The words spade (digging tool) and spathe are similarly derived. The word spatula is known to have been used in English since 1525.
Spatulas have a handle long enough to keep the holder's hand away from what is being lifted, or flipped. The blade often has one side longer than the other. The right side (as used) tends to be longer than the left, as this is more effective for right-handed people. Left-handed spatulas exist, but are rare. The blade may be perforated with holes or slots allowing liquids to flow through.
In the kitchen 
American English usage 
In kitchen utensils, a spatula is any utensil fitting the above description. One variety is alternately named turner, and is used to lift and turn food items during cooking, such as pancakes and fillets. These are usually made of plastic, with a wooden or plastic handle to insulate them from heat.
British English usage 
The "Weird Al" Yankovic comedy film UHF features an ad for a fictional outlet store called Spatula City that sells nothing but spatulas (of the "turner" variety). The ad features people getting very excited over receiving spatulas, including children at Christmas and women getting them as romantic gifts.
Related utensils 
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