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Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire is Western[edit]

The article claims that the personal table fork was used first during the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire, perhaps as early as the Greek Empire. But then it goes on to say that Westerners didn't adopt the fork until [x] century. It is pretty much unanimously agreed that ancient Roman and Greek civilization are Western. In fact, that's wear Western culture originates from. The Byzantine Empire was an amalgamation of both societies so wouldn't it be Western as well? Thus wouldn't Westerners have adopted the fork the same time the ancient Romans/Byzantines/Greeks did? — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheyCallMeTheEditor (talkcontribs) 01:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


According to etiquette, during the meal the fork is held in the left hand, and the knife in the right.

I'm pretty sure this is the case in either Europe or North America, but not both. Could a helpful etiquette expert please clarify this? - Montréalais 08:53, 16 Sep 2003 (UTC)

--- I'm unsure what the standard is for replying in the discussion section in wiki and apologize if I've done so wrong. To answer your question, the fork is held in the left hand while the knife is held in the right hand when eating continental style. American style is the same while cutting, but when you go to actually use your fork to pick up food you put the knife down on the far edge of the plate, and switch your fork to your right hand. I'm pretty sure the American style of using silverware is also referred to as the "zig-zag method" for this reason.

Hope this helps, CatchyUsername — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Upper Classes[edit]

man1:What is meant by "upper classes" in 1600? The aristocracy? If so, why not say so? HistoryBA 01:30, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

man2: also "aristocracy would sometimes be accustomed to manners" is confusing. not only is it part of something that couldn't possibly be considered a sentance, but the definition of 'manners' at this point in history meant, what we call today, left-overs.

Sporks are better?[edit]

I noticed a little spork praise at the end of the first paragraph. Is that vandalism?


I'm clearing up the vandalism that's been put on here, some stuff like "the spoon is enveloped in your mum" and "I LIKE COLD MEAT". I have no intentions of vandalizing wikipedia. (talk) 22:44, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

You don't think maybe that in the very first sentence the parenthetical phrase needs to be deleted? It's obviously a joke. A fork never has two tines, as is shown in the picture of a fork with just two tines? (talk) 02:42, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

"Often refered to as"?[edit]

Come on. When was the last time you called a fork the "king of utensils"?

"Excuse me, dear, you gave me two forks by mistake. I don't have a king of utensils."

"Now, son, don't eat your peas with the king of utensils"

King, n. 1. the male ruler of a monarchy; 2. (playing cards) the highest ranking face card; 3. (cutlery) the fork.

Vandalism or not I was blown away by the phrase. I'm going to begin incorporating it into my every day language. Maybe prepare a little speech on the king of utensils for a lull in conversation. -- 03:07, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Fork... why fork??[edit]

why call a fork a fork?? seriously, who came up with the name and why?

I think that we call it a fork because . . . that's what it is!
I found the following:
— [ Old English forca, via Germanic < Latin furca "pitchfork"] (MSN Encarta)
— ORIGIN Latin furca ‘pitchfork, forked stick’. AskOxford)
— O.E. forca "forked instrument used by torturers," from L. furca "pitchfork," of uncertain origin. Online Etymology Dictionary
I don't know if it is possible to find the origin of the latin word. — MFH:Talk 14:00, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Serbian History[edit]

I paste here the modified version of User: before reverting.

One belief is that the fork was introduced in the Middle East, in the region of southern Turkey before the year 1000. Another prominent theory is that the utensil was first developed in the Balkans by the ancestors of modern day Serbs.

Maybe this is not vandalism, but the reference seems quite poor to me (not scientific at all in fact) and the sources indicate the "middle east before 1000" thesis: see e.g. the google search for fork+introduced+history

If you want to insist, please give a rough estimate of when the serbs invented the fork. — MFH:Talk 12:45, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

PS: In fact, Turkey and present-day serbia are not so far from each other, and I can imagine that it's difficult to establish with 100% accuracy where the true origin was. Also, notice that my revert has no anti-serbian motivation, in fact I have many friends in Serbia. But unless better sources are given, the saying "we [serbs] invented the fork" (even if it is common in Serbia) seems not valid as proof of a historical fact. — MFH:Talk 12:54, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't Merge into Fork[edit]

It was delightful to find different entries for all sorts of forks.

I think it rather silly to have separate entries that simply can't easily become more than two or three lines in length. It would be more rational - and less tough on users' mouse buttons - to list the descriptions in this article. I'll give it a few days (two or three) and if no one objects, merging it is. --R. Wolff 17:57, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree and support merging.--Boson 20:03, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Support. All the "different entries" will just be in this article after merging. Same thing. — Omegatron 21:38, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Turtle Tribes[edit]

I have removed the following:

" and my have been invented by the Turtle Tribes of Early Korea"

because it looks like nonsense and I can no evidence of turtle tribes anywhere in Asia. If their existence and use of forks can be documented, by all means let it be reinstated. seglea 17:32, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Opening sentence[edit]

"As a handwriting tool or pencil, a fork is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines (usually two to four) on one end."

Sounds almost as if the fork was a handwriting tool. And anyway, since when do handwriting tools usually have two to four narrow tines on one end? Acdx 14:16, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Runcible Spoon NOT Spork[edit]

A spork and a runcible spoon are not the same thing. They have similarities, yes, but the fact that the word 'runcible' was invented by a nonsense poet who didn't really know what it meant throws it into disregard slightly. Edited. BB 30/10/06

History Non Sequitur[edit]

The first sentence in the history section, "It is a commonly believed myth that the table fork was introduced to West during the Middle Ages, as the Romans used forks for serving.", makes no sense. It only gets worse as you read the section. Can somebody knowledgeable correct? 19:12, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Two stories keep coming up in my research for this. One is that the fork was transferred to Italy by a byzantine princess when she married the Doge of Venice, Domenico Selvo. Or, it was transferred by princess Theophanu (also of the Byzantine empire) when she married the soon to be Holy Roman Emperor Otto II.
--Ianboggs 16:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Heretic's fork[edit]

How noble of you to remove heretic's fork from this article (eating forks), you regard as being tasteless. However, would it not have been a good idea also to link to that article through the disambiguation page? Anyway, have done so now (see fork (disambiguation) as well as some of the others, such as broadfork, spading fork, etc. Dieter Simon (talk) 22:52, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Andreus Vesulius?[edit]

This is vandalism. There is no such person, but there is an anatomist and physician called Andreas Vesalius but he had nothing to do with any fork. I will revert this every time it is re-entered unless it cites sources to the effect that he introduced the fork as an eating implement or surgical item in Northern Europe. Dieter Simon (talk) 00:39, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


Didn't the show Mythbusters once try shooting forks from a cannon? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hello71 (talkcontribs) 00:21, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

More pictures and descriptions of types of forks?[edit]

Is it possible to have more information on how to tell the different types of forks apart? There's no info at all on the berry fork for instance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Fish fork[edit]

I understand that lacking of a better candidate for an image will force to use a diagram, but this diagram is too simple, there is not information about the main features of a fish fork that can be conveyed by the image. For example, fish forks usually come with an incision or hole (probably not the right word) on the edge, close to the handle, that allows, with the aid of the fish knife, to hold and pull out the fish-bones. It is also smaller than table fork and in many cases made out of silver.  franklin  02:30, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

  • examples [1], [2], and this one that have the incision in between the tines [3].

I haven't found a free image of a fish fork but having a misleading (misleading because it says nothing) doesn't seem appropriate.  franklin  02:42, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Etiquette, Environment Sections[edit]

Having read the "chopsticks" article on Wikipedia, I think there are two sections that this article is lacking. An etiquette section should describe fork etiquette among countries that use it, and an environmental impact section to describe how disposable forks are affecting the environment. Refer to that article for a better idea of what I mean. (talk) 02:57, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Roman fork.[edit]

I have change little the roman section. Indeed the fork was commonly used in Roman Empire with other instruments as thimbles for hot meals. They had two (a lot) or three tines (less).

Speciments are displayed in Padua Archeological Museum and Torcello Museum but they are only examples.

See: this book of Padua museum: pag. 204.

About venetian area: The venetian name for fork "piron" come directly from the greek word "piruni" and not from latin. So it is the possibility that the venetian aristocracy (of bourgeois origin) newly learned the use from Byzantine wives.

While for western aristocracy especially those of Germanic origin it was a blasphemy to use a was considered decadent.. There was also religious reason for the disappearance of the fork in fallen Western Roman Empire: the Church was against the use of a fork because it reminded the devil, indeed only recently in advanced modern era the use of fork became common in monasteries.

--Andriolo (talk) 12:40, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Erroneous Bible reference to a fork[edit]

The following information is wrong and should be deleted:

"...and it is also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of I Samuel 2:13 ("The custom of the priests᾽ with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest᾽s servant came, while the fresh flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand..."

The actual passage from Book I Samuel 2:13 refers to a flesh hook used to remove large hanks of meat from a cauldron and not a fork. See the actual passage from KJV:

"And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest ̓s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;"

The continuation of this passage makes absolutely clear that it is a flesh hook an not a fork:

"...And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither."

In the Septuagint the corresponding word is κρεάγρα meaning precisely a meat hook.

Proteusx (talk) 04:00, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

“God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks - his fingers" quote[edit]

This quote is sourced to a geocities page which gives no additional references. Googling it only turns up references that either cite this page or the original geocities page. Where does it actually come from? -- (talk) 21:05, 11 September 2014 (UTC)